On the 20 October 2016, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health made a statement in the House of Commons, announcing a two-year funding settlement for community pharmacies of £2.687 billion in 2016/17 and £2.592 billion in 2017/18. The government blamed this reduction on the need to find £22 billion worth in efficiency savings for 2020, combined with the need to cut down on 'clusters' of pharmacies.
Pharmacies are vital to the fabric of our community in Brent North. Their services address people's needs in ways which sadly the government seems to underestimate. The significant impact they have on patient care and the strain they take off GP surgeries by helping patients to better understand their medications and increasingly by providing services such as flu vaccination and stop smoking services, shows what a vital and efficient part of the primary care network they are. This growing reliance on pharmacies in Brent North translates into an increasing workload with a greater volume of prescriptions and rising patient demands. All of this testifies to the importance that pharmacies hold in community life.
Regrettably, it appears that the Government, whilst demanding even more of the sector, done not seem to value your work sufficiently. To this end I have been supporting the Community Pharmacies Campaign. You can find a copy of my letter to David Mowat MP here.
You can find the reply from David Mowat MP here.