Valerie meets with pharmacists in Parliament

I attended an event in Parliament on 24 May 2016 on the future of community pharmacy held by the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, National Pharmacy Association, Pharmacy Voice and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.


In recent weeks, I have been contacted by my constituents, some of whom are pharmacists, who are concerned about Government plans to introduce cuts to pharmacy funding. The Government announced that funding for community pharmacy in 2016/17 will be cut by £170m. The cut from £2.8bn to £2.63bn is a reduction of more than 6% in cash terms. The Government has not said how it will introduce its cuts to pharmacy funding, but it has admitted that one in four pharmacies could face closure.


I spoke with pharmacists (pictured in the right of the picture) about the problems of Government plans to change community pharmacies. Patients will lose out on free, accessible health services. As a result, patients will be forced to go to GP practices or A&E departments, adding more strain to these already over-stretched services.


1.7 million members of the public have signed a petition to save local pharmacies. The Government needs to respond to public concern and halt these cuts and ensure the community pharmacy integration fund supports pharmacies to work more closely with GPs and other primary care professionals.


I have written to the Minister for Community and Social Care, calling for him to review the decision on stop the funding cuts to a vital community service.