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Suddenly, the 100-hour contract exemption starts to make sense. Community pharmacy was never likely to get funding for this 20 per cent increase in staff costs, so the market approach has pre-empted any discussion. Whether there is a real need for the service or it's a political policy, only time is likely to tell, but the dilution of resources in an already stretched system looks debatable to many, not just those who will have to provide the service.
Peter Cattee, PCT Healthcare
I’m very happy to be part of any seamless seven-day service, so long as the funding reflects our commitment. This idea would serve both the current surplus of pharmacists and our patients well.
Sultan “Sid” Dajani, Wainwrights Chemist, Bishopstoke
If you asked me this 10 years ago, the answer would have been ‘No’ due to pharmacist shortages. But it is all very different today, and if the demand and reimbursement are there, then pharmacy will step up.
Gary Jones, Borth Pharmacy, Ceredigion
No, I wouldn't be happy to be open seven days a week. There is enough to do already.
Bipin Patel, Broadway Pharmacy, Bexleyheath
We are going to end up with five-day income, as a result of less-than-inflation increases, along with seven-day overheads. So that’s ‘No’.
Hemant Patel, Secretary, North East London LPC
A bigger question is would people use a seven-day service? For the majority of pharmacies, I think the answer would probably be ‘No’. We certainly see in our branches open all day on a Saturday that we have little demand for NHS services in the afternoon. The only way I could see this being viable is if extra responsibilities and resources were put through pharmacy – perhaps making us the out-of-hours service the NHS seems to so desperately need. Arguably, this would be a better use of resources than funding for pharmacists in GP surgeries during normal working hours.
Noel Wicks, Right Medicine Pharmacy
This company pioneered seven-day opening and we have had a pharmacy open every day since 1954. With more services being given to pharmacy, it is enviable that more pharmacies are going to offer seven-day access.
Peter Badham, Badham Pharmacy