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Farron welcomes U-turn on pharmacy closures

September 6, 2016 2:56 PM

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed a U-turn by the government over cuts which would have led to the closure of rural pharmacies.

Pharmacies minister David Mowat MP announced yesterday at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference that planned cuts to community pharmacy would not be implemented.

The government had previously announced that from October it would cut £170m from community pharmacy funding. Department of Health Minister Alistair Burt had admitted that this would lead to up to 3000 pharmacy closures across the country.

Local pharmacies had contacted Tim with their concerns about these plans, and Tim had written to health ministers to urge them to reconsider.

Tim said: "This announcement will come as a massive relief to pharmacies in South Lakeland, as well as to those who rely on them.

"In rural areas like ours, community pharmacies are often people's first point of contact with the health system, and play a critical role. They don't just give out medicines, but also medical assistance and advice.

"The government had not considered the impact these cuts would have had on rural areas, and it is right that it has scrapped them."