Barbara has criticised Tory Ministers for proposals for damaging cuts to the funding for community pharmacies in Salford and across the country.
The Government announced in December that £170 million would be cut from budgets for community pharmacy services in 2016/17, with further cuts to follow. This initial cut of 6% will put significant financial pressure on local community pharmacies and could result in pharmacy closures and job losses. There is a fear that around a quarter of community pharmacies would have to close due to the cuts.
Barbara spoke out at Westminster against the cuts and said that patient safety and welfare could be put at risk, as a result of changes to community pharmacy services.
“I am deeply concerned about the Government’s proposed cuts to funding which could lead to the loss of local community pharmacy services. The loss of a number of pharmacies could hit communities in Salford very hard.
“Community pharmacies provide essential services, dispensing medication and providing information and advice which can prevent the need for people to visit their GP for common health problems. The cuts will mean that pharmacies will be forced to reduce staffing levels and it may affect services currently offered for free, such as home delivery of medications.
“Community pharmacies help to remove pressure from our already overstretched health and social care services. They are valued by the local communities they serve. I am calling on Tory ministers to rethink these damaging and reckless funding cuts and to work to protect community pharmacies in future.”
Commenting on the Government proposals the chair of the Salford and Trafford Local Pharmaceutical Committee, Varun Jairath, said:
“Community pharmacy is at the heart of every locality. The Department of Health has said in the past that community pharmacy is an under-utilised source of patient care, for example in monitoring patients with long-term conditions, yet it is now shunning its own advice.
“Patient safety and welfare is directly at risk from these cuts.”