Posted on behalf of Lynne Deavin
Chair of Shropshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee
Government Plans for Community Pharmacy in 2016/17 and beyond
You may be aware that on 17th December the Department of Health announced plans for community pharmacy. The proposals included a £170m reduction in funding for community pharmacy in 2016/17. Since then it has become clear that as many as 3000 pharmacies may close.
Rural communities such as Shropshire are especially in danger of losing services as the funding cuts target small pharmacies in particular. The loss of the community pharmacy in such areas will increase the isolation of the most vulnerable in our society.
I am sure that you would agree that pharmacies are a valuable resource and that the plans will threaten patient access to pharmacies and pharmacy services at a time when we should be focusing on pharmacist and pharmacy provision in to alleviate pressure on GPs, A& E and other hospital services as well as to fill gaps created by cuts in local authority funding.
Pharmacies are placed firmly at the centre of the community; I have summarised below a number of key points and included a copy of a recent Press Release:
· People in England make 1.6 million visits to community pharmacies every day.
· Pharmacies are easily accessible and form part of their local community.
· As well as dispensing medicines community pharmacy teams provide advice to help people get the most benefit from their medicines and to live healthily.
· Community Pharmacies help people to stay well and prevent unnecessary and costly visits to GP surgeries and A & E by supporting the frail and elderly, many with long term conditions, treating minor ailments and illnesses, prevent admissions and supporting discharge from hospital.
· Prevention of ill health by such services as Smoking Cessation, Needle Exchange, Emergency Hormonal Contraception, Substance Misuse and Lifestyle advice to name but a few.
· Provision of free collection and delivery services for prescriptions to ensure patients get the medicines they need when they need them.
The Shropshire Local Pharmaceutical Committee would value your support in keeping local pharmacies open. We therefore ask that you raise awareness and make representation to the Department of Health, Minister Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP.
Sign the online petition open until June 29th to show your support for the services and sign here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116943….
If you require any further information please contact either Lindsey Fairbrother on 07740582482 or Lynne Deavin on 01889 271707