The Government is not actively looking to increase the number of community pharmacies in England.
Applications to provide National Health Service pharmaceutical services continue to be determined by NHS England and NHS Improvement, informed by the local pharmaceutical needs assessment, which outlines the level of NHS pharmaceutical services provision in a given area, including if there are any gaps or unmet needs.
In England, access to NHS pharmaceutical services is good. There are over 11,500 community pharmacies, which is 12% more than a decade ago. This coverage means that 80% of the population live within 20 minutes walking distance of a community pharmacy, with more pharmacies in the most deprived areas.
Maintaining access to NHS pharmaceutical services remains an important priority for the Government. We will continue to maintain the good level of access we have in England through the Pharmacy Access Scheme, which provides additional financial support to pharmacies in areas where there are fewer pharmacies.