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CCA: Contraception service shows ‘worrying disregard’ for pharmacy


CCA: Contraception service shows ‘worrying disregard’ for pharmacy

By Neil Trainis

The Company Chemists’ Association has accused the government and NHS England of showing “a worrying disregard for the reality” of inadequate funding which continues to heap huge pressures on community pharmacies by pressing ahead with plans to launch a pharmacy contraception service.

The CCA said the sector has “huge potential” to provide contraceptive support for women and free up two million GP appointments a year but insisted better funding arrangements needed to be in place before more work is directed towards already stretched pharmacies.

Tier one of the contraception service, which is due to launch in seven day’ time despite the PSNC’s protestations that a start date has not been agreed, will see pharmacies provide ongoing monitoring and supply of repeat oral contraception prescriptions to women and teenage girls who have had an initial prescription from a GP or sexual health service.

“Pushing through the rollout of this service, despite the warnings of the negotiator, representative bodies, and contractors shows a worrying disregard for the reality within the community pharmacy sector,” a CCA spokesperson said.

“The existing contractual agreement was finalised before the pandemic, rampant inflation, ever growing workloads, and continuing pressures on businesses. Whilst many pharmacies will no doubt do their best to meet patient needs, the funding of community pharmacy is broken and needs to fundamentally change.”

The CCA said “ambitious commissioning, joint implementation with the sector and critical new investment” would provide the scope for pharmacies to “make a huge impact on women’s contraceptive care.”

“Pharmacy has a history of delivering at scale, and at speed. But the sector cannot continue on goodwill alone,” it said.

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