Tom pledges to defend local community pharmacies

Tom has backed a campaign opposing the government’s plan to cut the budget for local chemists, after talks between the government and the sector broke down.

Negotiations on a new package of funding for community pharmacies have halted and the government is set to push through a funding cut that could force thousands of chemists to close across the country.

The government’s initial plan to cut £170 million from the community pharmacy budget – a cut of 6 per cent – was put on hold after pressure from campaigners, but a new round damaging cuts could now be imposed by the government.

The government’s own figures have shown that the £170 million cut could force up to 3,000 community pharmacies – one in four across the country – to close their doors to the public.

This puts the 271 community pharmacies in Durham, Darlington and Tees Area at risk.

Further, a leaked document today revealed the government’s relief package for community pharmacies is intended to assist just one in ten pharmacies across the country, meaning the vast majority will receive no further support.

Tom said:

The Tories’ plan risks losing important services for my constituents. The government should drop their cuts and negotiate a new deal with the sector.

The logic behind this plan is flawed because cuts for community pharmacies mean even more pressure on A&E, GPs and other services. This is a short term cut that will damage our NHS in the long run.

Under the Tories many NHS services in my constituency have closed and now more are threatened. If local community pharmacies close young families, elderly people and housebound patients in Teesside will suffer.

The government’s proposed support package isn’t enough and they need to think again about this urgently.

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