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Community pharmacies “crucial" to keeping elderly independent

Community pharmacies “crucial" to keeping elderly independent

Funding cuts to community pharmacy could force hundreds of pharmacies to close, cutting off a vital lifeline for vulnerable people, councils have warned

Posted: 7 April 2016

The Local Government Association (LGA), which represents more than 370 councils who have responsibility for public health, is warning that a£170m cut in NHS funding for community pharmacies could put many out of business.

Councillor Izzy Seccombe, LGA Community Wellbeing spokeswoman, said community pharmacies need to be at the heart of communities, close to where people go about their daily lives.

She added: “For many elderly people, their local pharmacist is not just a dispenser of medicines, but someone who they know and look to for informal health advice and information.

“Vulnerable and elderly people should never be forced to travel long distances to pick up vital medicines and receive health advice.”

In a response to the Department of Health’s consultations over proposals to use pharmacists in GP practices, the LGA emphasises the importance of pharmacists remaining in a community setting.

Shifting them to a primary care setting could risk bringing more people to surgeries and adding to the existing workload pressures that GPs are already experiencing.

Cllr Seccombe argued that additional investment in community pharmacy could improve the prevention of disease and improve access to health services.

“Being at the heart of communities means pharmacies see people in every state of health and are ideally placed to play a central role in the prevention of illness which can reduce costs and pressures on the NHS and adult social care.”