Northern Ireland news

High street pharmacists reject £5m offer in escalating row over blister pack patient support

Pharmacists are `routinely spending more and more time on this service, supporting over 37,000 patients'

HIGH street pharmacists have rejected an offer of £5 million from the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and vowed to stand by their decision not to provide any further `goodwill' service of medicine tray filling in an escalating row over funding.

A motion to accept no new patients onto the medicine adherence service list was passed by 97 per cent of votes at a Community Pharmacy NI meeting and came into effect on Wednesday.

The HSCB said it is "disappointed" by the decision.

It said it already funds the service to the tune of £7m, with a further funding stream of £7.5m "which contributes, at least in part, to this service".

The board offered a further interim funding package of £5m until the end of March 2022.

However, Gerard Greene of Community Pharmacy NI said the offer "shows a complete lack of understanding" of the service and "falls well short of what is needed".

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