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Chief Operating Officer Daniel Lee, a pharmacist and founder of Pharmacy2U, responds to today’s news of potential cuts in the pharmacy sector

Today the BBC has reported on plans by the Department of Health to deliver significant cuts in funding for community pharmacies – with £113 million reported to be cut by March 2017 and a further £208m in the following financial year.

The information was given to the BBC by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC).

While no-one in the pharmacy sector will welcome news of cuts, this is yet another example of the stark reality facing the NHS.  Efficiency savings must be found if it is to continue to provide future generations with the same level of care that it provides today.

Service innovation – delivering existing services in new ways – is a key part of helping the NHS to solve this challenge, and I am proud that Pharmacy2U is leading the way in our sector.

The changing needs of patients and the NHS led Pharmacy2U to pioneer internet pharmacy more than a decade ago. This year we invested £3.5m in a state-of-the-art medicines dispensing hub that enables many thousands of people to receive their medication in the most efficient way possible, supporting the NHS in its need to save money.

A journalist who recently visited the facility said that our operation “doesn’t so much ‘transform’ the business of a traditional chemist as re-think it”.  That is exactly what we set out to do – with a managed NHS repeat prescription service that not only gives patients convenience and choice, but also delivers economies of scale and efficiency for the NHS.

Local pharmacies play a vital role in healthcare and will remain a key service for the future.  However, today’s news reinforces the need for new online services like ours, which will help the NHS work to maximum efficiency.