Councils respond to Government announcement on pharmacies

"We accept community pharmacies need to change, but instead of funding for them being reduced, we would like to see pharmacies playing a bigger role in providing public health services, alongside their important existing roles of supplying medicines."


LGA press release 20 October 2016

Responding to the Government's new pharmacy modernisation package announced today, Chairman of the LGA's Community Wellbeing Board, Cllr Izzi Seccombe, said:

"Councils want every local area to have a strong community pharmacy network, particularly those in deprived areas with the greatest health needs, or rural communities with the furthest distance to travel. It is important that government ensures this is delivered through the Pharmacy Access Scheme.

"Older and frail people rely on their local chemist not just as a place to get medicines, but as somewhere they can go to for informal health advice and information. If this lifeline was removed, it would mean more people having to potentially travel longer distances to GP surgeries and adding to existing pressures.

"We accept community pharmacies need to change, but instead of funding for them being reduced, we would like to see pharmacies playing a bigger role in providing public health services, alongside their important existing roles of supplying medicines. Additional investment in community pharmacies could improve the prevention of disease and help take the strain off the NHS and social care.

"Pharmacies also have an important place in our local economy. They are vital to ensuring diverse and vibrant high streets, which can otherwise be dominated by betting shops, fast food outlets and payday lenders. Losing our pharmacies could leave gaps in high streets that may never been filled."