After days of writing this speech, failed attempt after failed attempt to produce a worthwhile speech and lots of frustration, I am delighted to reveal my own assessment, on camera, of how proposed cuts to the English community pharmacy network could have consequences for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as England.
With over 12,000 signatures so far to a online petition calling for those proposed cuts to be stopped (which there is a link to towards the end of this post) there is understandable widespread concern across pharmacy that any such measures could have a very negative impact for community pharmacy services south of the border.
I am opposed to any cuts to the English community pharmacy budget. At a time when investment is needed to meet the growing demand for community pharmacy services, this is not a time to take away resources. Any proposed cuts to English community pharmacy has the potential to have a negative impact north of the border as well as in Wales and Northern Ireland.
As far as Scotland is concerned, any negative impact upon the block grant given to Holyrood would be absolutely unacceptable. And I am also concerned about the impact market forces across the United Kingdom could have upon the wages and locum rates of both employee pharmacists and locum pharmacists across the board plus those wages of members of pharmacy teams right across these islands.
Whilst demand for community pharmacy services grows, it is only fair that community pharmacists, members of pharmacy teams and pharmacy contractors are rewarded accordingly for the hard work that they put in to keep services going and to fulfil the expectations of patients in order to deliver high quality patient care.
In this speech, I outline why I believe cutting the English community pharmacy budget is a bad idea and will create a situation where nobody (pharmacist, pharmacy contractor, member of pharmacy team and ultimately patients) stands to win from any proposed cuts. I also look at the whole issue from a Scottish perspective since I live and work in my home country of Scotland.
After viewing my speech, I would urge everybody concerned to please click on this link to sign a petition, that is currently on the Petitions UK Government and Parliament website, calling for the proposed cuts to community pharmacy in England to be stopped.
This is not an easy time for everyone concerned and the last thing community pharmacy south of the border needs is any form of cuts to the vital funding needed for those services which are needed on a daily basis to meet the health needs of the public.
Thank you in advance for your time and support.