Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake recently held a public meeting to discuss Government cuts to local pharmacies and the effect this could have on the area..
The National Pharmacy Association say that as a result of Government budget cuts, London could lose almost a third of its pharmacies. That would be over 750 pharmacies.
Pharmacists in Carshalton and Wallington and across the U.K. offer a range of essential services for patients which also have the advantage of taking pressure off GP surgeries. The range includes monitoring medication, providing advice, warfarin blood tests etc.
Pharmacies also offer access to services related to smoking cessation, alcohol and weight management, the flu jab service and methadone support.
At the meeting, attendees heard from Reena Barai (an award-winning local pharmacist who runs a pharmacy in Erskine Road).
Reena Barai said:
“It won’t be big businesses that feel these cuts the hardest – it will be small businesses in our area; businesses that will no longer be able to afford the same level of highly-skilled staff, or that will have to start finding other ways to cope, which can only mean a reduced service for patients.
Community pharmacies are a local lifeline in the NHS – yet the Department of Health has made it clear that they do not see this value.
These plans will increase pressure on already-overburdened NHS services locally – and with GP surgeries, doctors and nurses and A&E departments all overstretched, we surely should not be closing our pharmacies but rather using them more than ever.
The great turnout at this event was a huge show of strength for this campaign and the momentum we have. ”