Government proposals to cut pharmacy funding by almost £170 million will hit at the heart of community health provision, will not improve primary care outcomes and will put additional strain on the NHS, according to Sadiq Khan, MP for Tooting.
Sadiq Khan said: “Many of my constituents rely on their local pharmacy on a daily basis. They are more than a place to get medicine, they are an essential part of the fabric of our community and the only place where residents can receive face-to-face professional healthcare advice without an appointment.
I share the concerns of over 600 constituents who have contacted me, that these cuts will almost inevitably force pharmacies to reduce staffing levels, resulting in more people visiting GPs and hospital A and E departments, putting further pressure on an already strained NHS.”
There are approximately 11,600 pharmacies in England. According to Pharmacy Voice, approximately 450 million individual visits are made each year dispensing around 1 billion prescriptions. The proposed cuts will equate to approximately £14,000 a year per pharmacy. There are approximately 20 independent pharmacies in Tooting, which could be impacted by these cuts.
Sadiq Khan said: “I have written to the Health Secretary to urge him to ensure these policies have patient outcome at the heart and to ask that these policies are not rushed through, causing irreversible consequences for local pharmacies and the patients they serve.”
“I will continue to do all I can to oppose the scale of these cuts to ensure that my constituents who need medicine dispensed, moderate medical attention or health advice, have access to these invaluable community services provided by pharmacies across Tooting”.