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03.04.20

Government announce £300m support for community pharmacies

Community pharmacies are set to receive a £300m cash boost from the government to ensure they can continue to carry out essential service during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The advanced funding injection form the Department of Health and Social Care will support pharmacies to provide critical services to protect community health, including supplying medicines and providing medical advice to patients, during the current period of unprecedented demand.

On April 1, 2020 pharmacy contractors were paid £200m, alongside their normal monthly payments from the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA), and a further £100m will be allocated on May 1, 2020.

The number of services that community pharmacies are required to deliver have also been already been the Department of Health and Social Care, allowing them to prioritise the most important tasks without jeopardising their full NHS funding. During this period, pharmacies will not be required to pilot new services or carry out non-critical administrative tasks, such as updating practice leaflets.

Minister for Health Jo Churchill said: “Every day, community pharmacies carry out critical work to protect the health of the public and support the wider NHS. This is even more important now as we face this unprecedented time.

“We hugely value the role of the community pharmacy, which is why we are backing them with £300 million of advanced funding to support them as we continue to assess the full additional impact of coronavirus on community pharmacy.

“To further support pharmacies, we have reduced the services they need to deliver during Covid-19 but have maintained their full funding.”

The government also announced it was working to increase the workforce capacity and flexibility, with calls to those pharmacy professionals who have recently left professional registers to return and have ensured that there is adequate indemnity insurance cover community pharmacy activities during the pandemic, for locum staff, and for professionals who may be relocated to pharmacies that are not their normal place of work.

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