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a westminster imageNovember 13 2017

The number of pharmacies considered to be eligible for support from the Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS) increased by 62 following appeals. 

The Department of Health had initially included 1,340 pharmacies in England on the list it deemed eligible for inclusion in the PhAS, and which would receive special funding support. However, 356 pharmacies challenged the decision, and a further 62 were then considered to meet the criteria, the Health Minister Steve Brine has said.

Mr Brine was responding to two written questions from Stephanie Peacock, the MP for Barnsley East. She had asked about the number of pharmacies who had applied for the Pharmacy Access Scheme payment and who were deemed eligible for that payment.

The scheme was introduced in 2016 as part of the two-year final funding package imposed upon community pharmacies in England which saw a £170 million cut. The PhAS was intended to ensure sufficient vulnerable pharmacies could continue to provide a baseline level of patient access to NHS community pharmacy services.

Mr Brine said the criteria used to review appeals on to whether a pharmacy should be included in the PhAS list were whether the pharmacy could demonstrate:

  • that a physical feature, such as a semi-permanent road block impeded access, meaning that in practice two pharmacies were more than one mile away from each other;
  • or that the pharmacy was 0.8 miles or more from another pharmacy, in an area of high deprivation, and critical for access.

Links:
They Work for You information  
Hansard Written question – 110672        
Hansard Written question – 110673      
PSNC information on the Pharmacy Access Scheme          
Department of Health ‘Community Pharmacy in 2016/17 and Beyond - The Pharmacy Access Scheme (PhAS)’ October 2016                  

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