Community Pharmacy Sheffield (CPS) which represents all 129 pharmacy contractors within the city, have this week called on the government to take urgent action declaring that local pharmacies are at ‘tipping point’.
This follows the news that Lloyds Pharmacy will close their branch within the Sainsbury’s store at Crystal Peaks on February 23. With the new closure this will mean that three pharmacies have shutdown in Sheffield in last twelve months – with Day Lewis Pharmacy in Crookesmoor, and Bradway Pharmacy having already ceased trading.
In response Councillor Chris Peace, Sheffield’s Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, has called on the government to take action:
“The government is expecting pharmacies to do a lot more for a lot less – and it’s completely unsustainable. We need proper funding for community pharmacies to be playing a bigger role in primary care, but instead they are closing down because of poor investment.
“People need to be supported to live well. That’s the only way we’re going to sustain our health service, instead of just focusing on illness with a patchwork approach. The government are once again being incredibly short sighted in failing to value local pharmacies and the preventive work they do for communities.
“Pharmacy budgets have been cuts by millions over recent years and the Council estimates that up to a quarter of Sheffield’s pharmacies are at risk of closing over the next few years. This will hit the most deprived, elderly and long-term sick the hardest and will deprive communities of vital local assets.
“Labour is committed to a different approach – we would stop the £320 million reduction in government funding to community pharmacies, and give the NHS the investment it needs. Our fully costed General Election Manifesto showed how this could be done – by making the richest 1% and the corporate giants pay their fair share.
“And at a local level Sheffield Labour councillors are fighting for our communities – we were part of a successful city wide campaign to fight for the walk-in-centre to be retained and we fight every day for better funding for our NHS – to ensure that our GPs and pharmacies are rooted in the communities they serve.
“I am deeply concerned by the recent closure of Sheffield’s pharmacies and have written to the Health Secretary demanding that the government halt funding cuts which are forcing our pharmacies to close”.