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Labour vows to fight ‘reckless’ government over cuts

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley says plans to slash pharmacy funding will do "opposite" of improving primary care


The Labour party has called on the government to rethink its “damaging” and “reckless” cuts to pharmacy funding.

Shadow health minister Barbara Keeley told C+D yesterday (February 24) that her party will pressure the government to reverse the “deeply concerning” 6% cut to funding in England.

“Labour recognises the need to integrate pharmacy better with other services, but introducing cuts on this scale will not improve primary care. It will do the opposite,” she said.

Warning from MPs

Ms Keeley spoke to C+D in the wake of a parliamentary debate on the cuts on Tuesday. Labour MPs at the debate warned that cutting pharmacy funding will increase the burden on GPs and push up NHS costs in the long term.

Stephen Pound, Labour MP for Ealing North, used the debate to praise pharmacists as the “miracle on the high street”.

He questioned how much control pharmacy minister Alistair Burt has over the government’s policy: “I can see the handcuffs of the Treasury holding him tight.”

Kevin Barron, MP for Rother Valley and chair of the all-party pharmacy group, said slashing funding will “cause chaos”.


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