At Parliamentary Health Questions yesterday, the Conservative MP for Eastleigh, Paul Holmes, asked what actions the Government is taking to reverse the current worrying trend of pharmacy closures. This followed a meeting between Mr Holmes, his local LPC and PSNC last year, followed by further PSNC briefings to him and his team.
In response, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Neil O’Brien, stated that the Government wants to see community pharmacies further empowered to “do more clinical work, to take the burden off GPs.”
We remain deeply concerned about the extreme pressures that community pharmacy contractors are continuing to face, and the ongoing threat of more permanent closures, and it was disappointing that the Government was not able to commit to concrete actions to provide the urgent support that pharmacies need.
As part of our work to ensure that the critical state of the sector remains high on the Government’s agenda, we continue to regularly brief MPs and Peers about the precarious state of the sector, of which Paul Holmes MP is just a recent example. The cross-sector #saveourpharmacies campaign will also be ensuring that this pressure is kept up.
We are in the process of facilitating a letter from MPs to the Health Secretary, making clear that the sector requires urgent funding. For further information on how you can support this work, please visit:
In addition to this, PSNC has also announced plans to work with the other leading national pharmacy bodies to mobilise political and public support for pharmacy through the co-ordinated #saveourpharmacies influencing campaign. Detailed plans for this are just being agreed.
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