NPA welcomes review into Northern Ireland pharmacy cuts

Pharmacy / Pharmacist News

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has reacted positively to news of a judicial review into plans to slash community pharmacy budgets in Northern Ireland.

An investigation will be conducted into the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety's decision to implement 38 million pounds worth of cuts for the sector, following concerns that the measures were inappropriate.

Mike Holden, chief executive of the NPA, said this represents "clear vindication" of the pharmacy industry's fears over the move, saying it is now vital that a fairer and more sustainable framework is devised.

He added that the NPA wishes the department to offer some form of compensation for the money lost by pharmacists since April 2011, in order to minimise the impact on frontline services.

"Negotiations must now be accelerated and be in line with the Compton Review of Health and Social Care, which calls for an expanded role for pharmacy in public health and the management of long-term conditions," said Mr Holden.

Earlier this month, the NPA offered its support for the outcome of the recent government review of health and social care in Northern Ireland, which called for pharmacists to play a greater role in service provision.

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