To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps he is taking to support community pharmacies.
12 March 2021
We recognise the vital role community pharmacies have played throughout the pandemic, and have put in place a comprehensive package of support:
- We have provided extra funding for Bank Holiday openings, a new medicines delivery service for shielded patients and a contribution to social distancing for every pharmacy.
- Between April and July 2020, a total of £370 million in increased advance payments were made to support community pharmacies with cash-flow pressures due to Covid-19.
- Most community pharmacies have been able to access general Covid-19 business support, including business rate relief and Retail, Leisure, Hospitality grants - we estimate community pharmacies have had access to some £82 million in grants.
- We provide personal protective equipment (PPE) free of charge and reimburse community pharmacies for PPE purchased.
- The Government has put forward firm proposals for additional funding to meet extra costs incurred by pharmacies during the pandemic, which are under active discussion with the PSNC.
- We have also provided non-monetary support such as the removal of some administrative tasks, flexibility in opening hours, support through the Pharmacy Quality Scheme for the sector’s response to Covid-19 and the delayed start of new services.