Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment he has made of the implications for his policies of the finding by Ernst and Young in its September 2020 report, Impacts of current funding, policy and economic environment on independent pharmacy in England, that three-quarters of independent pharmacies are at risk of closure by 2024.
The data referenced in the Ernst and Young report is not publicly available and we are unable to verify its forecast. On 31 March 2020, latest published data available from the NHS Business Services Authority, there were 11,421 community pharmacies in England. This is 280 fewer pharmacies than on 31 March 2016 but 470 more than on 31 March 2011. Maintaining access to pharmaceutical services is a key priority for the Government and the Department continues to closely monitor the market.