Community Pharmacy in 2016-17 and Beyond

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:31 am on 20th October 2016.

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Photo of Philippa Whitford Philippa Whitford Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Health) 11:31 am, 20th October 2016

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

We discussed this on Monday and, as I pointed out, Scotland has had a national minor ailments service, a chronic medicine service and public health prevention for many years within community pharmacies, and we have found them to be very effective. Research showed they could cut 10% of the pressure on GPs and 5% on accident and emergency.

The problem with the Government’s proposal is that it is going to be a bit random; pharmacies are just going to be shutting on the basis that they cannot survive. Should there not be a planned system, to look at and discuss where they should be? It is not just a question of rural or deprived. It is also about transport; a mile away may be a real problem for those who are elderly and frail and for whom there is not a bus going in that direction. I welcome England taking forward these services, but my concern is the way in which it is going to be done; if it is just done due to cuts, it might not give England the answer it really wants.