We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Community pharmacies at risk of closure - Farron

October 26, 2016 5:35 PM

South Lakeland MP Tim Farron has warned that community pharmacies could face closure, following the government's announcement that funding will be cut by more than 7% over the next two years.

Tim has written to all pharmacies across South Lakeland to ask about the impact of these plans on local pharmacies. Some pharmacies in the area will be eligible for extra funding due to their rurality, but there are concerns this may be outweighed by the effect of the overall cuts included in the government's proposals.

In a response to a parliamentary question from Tim about the latest plans, Health Department Minister David Mowat admitted that "A consequence [of the proposals] may be the closure of some pharmacies". Former Department of Health Minister Alistair Burt had previously suggested that government plans would lead to up to 3000 pharmacy closures across the country.

Tim said: "The government seems to think it can make endless savings by cutting funding for vital local services such as pharmacies.

"Community pharmacies play a critical role in our health system, going beyond simply dispensing drugs, to providing advice and being a first port-of-call for many people. If pharmacies are forced to close, it will only mean increased pressure for GP services and A&E departments that are already struggling.

"Recognition of the importance of pharmacies in rural areas is a welcome step in the right direction which I have long been pushing for, but if extra funding for rurality is outweighed by budget cuts elsewhere then it is a false economy. We need to invest more, not less, in pharmacies and other preventive services."