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Pharmacies should ‘challenge’ local MPs to stop closures, AIMp says

All community pharmacies should write to their local MPs and “challenge them to not sit idly by as more pharmacies close”, Association of Independent Multiple pharmacies (AIMp) CEO Leyla Hannbeck has said.

“Too many of our colleagues are closing their doors for good,” Dr Hannbeck said in a statement today (October 10). “This cannot be allowed to continue.”

She urged pharmacies and pharmacy associations to ask their local MPs “to push ministers and NHS management for greater recognition” of the pharmacy sector and call for “a new funding model” that will “sustain [the sector] going forward”.

Read more: Sector in crisis: Thousands of pharmacies at risk of closure as inflation bites

They should do so “forthwith”, as “every week sees yet more pharmacies struggling to keep their heads above the water”, Dr Hannbeck said.

 

“Proper resourcing” needed

 

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacies have been asked “to do more and more”, Dr Hannbeck said.

While they are “generally…delighted” to take on the additional duties, pharmacies “require proper resourcing” to do so, she argued.

Read more: NHSE: Pharmacies can help with more services, but sector is ‘fragile’

There is “a danger” of the pharmacy sector being taken for granted, despite its services during the pandemic being recognised by “ministers and officials”, AIMp wrote.

Although Dr Hannbeck individually urged AIMp members to contact their MPs and highlighted the importance of engaging with local MPs at this month’s Sigma conference, she said the pharmacy representative body cannot take on this task on its own.

She shared a template that pharmacies and associations can use to contact MPs, which can be downloaded via AIMp website

A report commissioned by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) – the findings of which were published last month – highlighted that thousands of community pharmacies in England are facing a “real risk” of closure following years of flat NHS funding and mounting inflation.

 

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