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“Their rationale is in part to demonstrate a desire to develop constructive relationships with government, as the basis for positive developments in pharmacy policy and commissioning.
“This is a sensible approach, which should bring meaningful dialogue about the future of pharmacy services nearer. DHSC needs to respond in kind when negotiations begin.
“The funding agreed for the remainder of the financial year will come as a disappointment to many of our members, who are currently struggling under a heavy weight of costs that it is hard to control.
“Our most immediate concern is the impact of the Cat M clawback, which could impair cash flow.
“It is clearer than ever that we need a long term settlement, which gives more certainty and enables the kind of investment that is necessary for sustainable change and improvement.
“Hard working independent pharmacists deserve to feel that better times are ahead. What’s needed is clarity from government about their ambitions for the sector, and an assurance that productivity, quality and patient centred results will be properly rewarded.
“In turn, pharmacies must continue to deliver the very best service possible in difficult circumstances. Only by continuing to demonstrate value can we hope for the kind of settlement we want for the medium and long term.”