Pharmacies across the East of England at risk of closure due to rising costs
Hits Radio Suffolk
Some pharmacies across the East could be at risk of closure. Funding has been cut by 30% and 720 pharmacies have permanently closed since 2015.
The Save Our Pharmacies campaign group now calling on the Government to fund a ‘Pharmacy First’ Service in England, so people with minor illnesses can be treated on the NHS by their local pharmacy, instead of having to wait to see a GP for a prescription.
Pharmacy owner and East of England Regional Representative for PSNC, Anil Sharma, said:
“A lot of pharmacies, including all mine, are now closed on a Saturday now, because we can’t afford to pay our staff and electricity on a Saturday for four hours. That, in turn, causes lots of problems for people in terms of access – some people can’t get their prescriptions, or over the counter medicine…
“In my opinion, NHS funding is very GP-focused – I understand that, as most people try and see their GPs first. Now they’ve been told to come and see us first – that’s great and we want them to come to the pharmacies, but we haven’t got the funding to do that, to see an increased number of people…
“The NHS want people to see a pharmacist, but when it comes to workplace issues and funding, we’re completely forgotten about. Because we don’t want to take any action that will affect our patients, we feel like our good nature is being taken advantage of by the government.”