COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY:  The primary care trust has published a pharmaceutical needs assessment in which it signals its intention to increase the number of “100 hour pharmacy contracts” it commissions.

As part of the assessment the PCT contacted 9,979 people – equivalent to 1.3 per cent of its population – regarding local pharmacy services.

The PCT said: “Through the consultation many people indicated the value of being able to access pharmaceutical services beyond the normal pharmacy contractual hours of 40 hours per week.”

As a result, it said it would maintain existing 100 hour contracts and seek to improve provision in areas where they were lacking.

The assessment states: “Given the… feedback it is NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent’s intention not to allow those pharmacies with 100 hour contracts to reduce them to 40 hour contract.

“Additionally evidence through consultation shows the need for 100 hour contract provision on the Isle of Sheppey and in the town of Dover.”