Barbara has slammed Conservative Ministers for pressing ahead with damaging cuts to funding for community pharmacies in Salford and across the country.
In a statement to Parliament the Conservative Pharmacy Minister announced that, despite widespread opposition, the Government would be making funding cuts representing a 12% cut for the rest of this year on current levels, and a 7.4% cut the year after.
Barbara spoke out against the plans which could mean that up to 3,000 community pharmacies across the country could close and thousands of the remaining pharmacies could be forced to scale back services.
When the funding cuts were first proposed, a public petition raised on this issue became the largest petition ever on a healthcare issue. It now has 2.2 million signatures.
“Communities in Salford and across the country will be devastated to hear that the Government has chosen to ignore their calls to save these vital local pharmacies and is pressing ahead with funding cuts that could mean many will be forced to close their doors.
“In Salford we have 63 community pharmacies. In the face of unprecedented demands on health and social care services, these local pharmacies are needed more than ever. They help to safeguard vulnerable people and signpost them to other services and crucially they reduce demand on GP and out of hours services.
“The Government’s plans are deeply unpopular, they are short-sighted and they will hit those areas in Salford with the greatest health inequalities hardest.
“These funding cuts are driven by cost and not care and they will have the biggest impact on older people, people with disabilities or long-term illnesses and on carers. I am calling on Ministers to urgently rethink these cuts before it is too late.”