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Pharmacy cuts will add to NHS burden - Farron

November 18, 2016 2:05 PM

Helme Chase Well PharmacyLocal MP Tim Farron has visited a Kendal pharmacy to discuss the impact of the government's damaging cuts to community pharmacy services. The impact will be particularly acute in areas like South Lakeland, due to its rurality and high proportion of elderly residents.

The government announced last month that funding for community pharmacies will be slashed by more than 7% over the next two years. Although a scheme has been introduced to support rural pharmacies, fewer than one in five across Cumbria will be eligible for the extra cash. In Tim's constituency, just 5 out of 23 pharmacies will get the money.

Tim met with staff at the Helme Chase Well Pharmacy, including Regional Manager Claire McGuire, to discuss the impact of these changes. The pharmacy is one of five run by the chain across South Lakeland. Tim had previously written to all pharmacies in the constituency about the impact of these changes, and they had highlighted serious concerns.

Tim said: "These are ill-thought through proposals from the government, that will end up costing the taxpayer more in the long-run. If community pharmacies end up having to reduce their hours or even close, it is GPs and A&E departments that will be left to deal with problems that could have been prevented earlier. Pharmacies are a crucial source of advice, particularly in rural areas, and do far more than just give out medicine.

"In areas like South Lakeland with a much older population than average, the need to focus on preventative measures to keep people healthy is all the more important. These cuts will be extremely damaging and I will continue to do all I can to oppose them and urge the government to reconsider."