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Government must not threaten rural GP services through Pharmacy White Paper

September 9, 2008 5:50 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has responded to the Government's consultation on the Pharmacy White Paper with a plea for GPs to retain the ability to dispense drugs to residents in rural areas.

Currently, residents who live more than a mile from their local pharmacy can have their prescriptions dispensed by their GP instead, and the service is offered by many GPs in the South Lakes. Government proposals could see the position changed so that GPs close to existing pharmacies will be unable to dispense drugs regardless of how far away their patient lives.

Tim said: "These proposals would be the death-knell for patient choice in rural areas, and threaten small GP practices and dispensing jobs.

"When you're travelling a large distance to your GP already, the ability to pick your prescription up at the same time reduces the amount of stress involved, especially for the elderly and infirm.

"Dispensing services also help provide a critical mass in smaller GPs practices which might otherwise not be able to exist. We should be listening to our GPs and stopping these proposals before it's too late."