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1.7 million signature petition presented at Downing Street

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1.7 million signature petition presented at Downing Street

Delivering the petition to Number 10: Kevin Barron MP, Michael Dugher MP, Derek Thomas MP, Dora Shergold (patient & carer), Rekha Shah (Pharmacy London), Bharat Patel (NPA), Paul Mason (pharmacist), Mahdis Fathi (Pre-reg pharmacist), Norman Lamb MP 

The biggest-ever healthcare petition, containing 1.7 million signatures of people against cuts to pharmacy funding, was delivered to Downing Street yesterday.

Tuesday May 24 also marked the end of the Department of Health consultation on 'Community Pharmacy in 2016/17 and Beyond. To further bolster pharmacy's case, an adjournment debate on the matter was secured for today by MP Michael Dugher.

NPA chairman Ian Strachan said: “It is now absolutely clear that the Department of Health has misjudged how people feel about local pharmacies. Patients value the face-to-face support they get at local pharmacies; getting medicines online or seeing a pharmacist by appointment in a GP surgery is not faintly equivalent to the accessible care available in pharmacies. The Government seems to think that putting a few hundred pharmacists into GP practices is a good swap for the loss of potentially 3000 community pharmacies. I disagree. And so do at least a million and a half patients and concerned citizens. Any changes to the NHS should have the improvement of patient care as the top priority, not simply saving money.”

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, said: “Many of the most vulnerable people rely on community pharmacies for medicine, public health services and easily accessible healthcare advice. At a time when we know GP services are overstretched it would be madness to disinvest in the healthcare professionals ready to help you on the high street.”

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of PSNC, said: “We know just how much local communities across England value their community pharmacies and their support for this petition proves that. The public seems to recognise what the Government so far has not: that community pharmacy teams are vital front-line NHS providers who can give face-to-face healthcare advice and support at a time and place that is convenient for patients.”

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