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Labour pledges to halt pharmacy closures in leaked manifesto

Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will halt some STPs. Credit: Sophie J Brown under CC
Labour under Jeremy Corbyn will halt some STPs. Credit: Sophie J Brown under CC

The Labour party has pledged to stop pharmacies from closing, according to a leaked copy of its 2017 election manifesto.

In the manifesto, seen by C+D after it was leaked yesterday (May 10), the party said it will "halt pharmacy closures and review provision to ensure all patients have access to pharmacy services, particularly in deprived or remote communities".

Labour also said it will give communities "more power to shape their town centres, by strengthening powers to protect post offices [and] community pharmacies".

Invest in the NHS

The manifesto includes a promise to invest “over £6 billion extra” into the NHS annually – similar to the amount pledged by the Liberal Democrats – funded in part by increasing tax on private medical insurance.

The party pledged to "tackle the growing problem of rationing of services and medicines across England, taking action to address postcode lotteries" and ensure "the quality of care you receive does not depend on which part of the country you live in".

"We will ensure NHS patients get fast access to the most effective new drugs and treatment," it said. "We will insist on value for money agreements with pharmaceutical companies."

Turning its attention to public health, the party said it will "hold a public inquiry into medicines, medical devices and medical products licensing and regulation – including Valproate".

STPs will be "halted"

Labour also wants to “halt sustainability and transformation plans” (STPs) that “are looking at closing health services across England”, the manifesto revealed.

The party will ask local health groups to redraw the plans, "with a focus on patient need rather than available finances". It will also create a new regulator for quality and safety called "NHS Excellence".

Bursaries for health degrees

Labour will also re-introduce bursaries and funding for health-related degrees, according to the manifesto document.

NPA “welcomes” manifesto

Commenting on the manifesto, National Pharmacy Association (NPA) chairman Ian Strachan said: “We are naturally delighted that the Labour Party is committed to halting the programme of pharmacy closures.”

“There is a better way to achieve efficiencies than by applying funding cuts – one which builds on the strengths of the community pharmacy network rather than dismantles it.

“Cuts to local pharmacies will have a disproportionate effect on people who live in the most deprived areas of England, where there is already a lack of NHS healthcare provision,” said Mr Strachan. “The NPA has been in dialogue with the Labour front bench team for many months and they have been vocal in parliament on this issue.”

“Politicians from all political parties have expressed their support for local pharmacies, so we look forward to similar commitments in other manifestos.”

Have you invited a parliamentary candidate to visit your pharmacy? Tweet @ChemistDruggist and let us know.

What pharmacy policies would you like to see in the election manifestos?

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

I read the Labour manifesto last night.  It's like something from the 1970s.  Lovely ideas, but who will pay for them all?? I'm sure JC is a decent man who means well but I don't think we can simply afford all the things he promises without ruining the economy and going back to a 1970s style crisis.  

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I think JC means well but I don't think he's in tune with the electorate. Good luck!

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

So translate this as ! will preseserve the more isolated pharmacies but let the inner city ones collapse. ie enforce the"under one mile from another pharmacy can go to the wall". Not a reversal of the present proposals but just some minor adjustments.

If you thought we would all be safe under Labour think again.  In Harrow there are approx 1000 pharmacists and if they changed their vote from Tory to Labour the MP would lose 2000 votes.from his majority  I did point this out to the Tory MP .

This is labour trying to get as many aggrieved groups to change their votes. Pharmacists ,students ( no fees) etc. Now add all people nearing retirement by promising retirement age will not increase above 66.

Time now to add free travel on public transport to reduce the number of cars on the road and gp surgeries to open 24 hours a day to allow access for patients so they do not have to go to casualty departments !


thepharmacist Forever!, Pharmacist Director

If we can get the 2 million that signed the petition to protect community pharmacy to support Labour, this may protect community pharmacy. 

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

"Governments have no money of their own, they only have tax payers' money" - Margaret Thatcher*************  The NPA welcomes the manifesto? Obviously all living in cloud cuckoo land with the bearded marxist!

thepharmacist Forever!, Pharmacist Director

Labour can have my vote, I will be asking all the patients I see to be doing the same. 

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I must admit that I usually know who to vote for, but lately it has become very conflicted which party? One observation is that coming out of the EU will create more contentious issues in terms of employment law, environmental law, human rights etc as these will revert back to domestic policy making, and so yes some retro policy challenges will recur as in the 70's before we signed up to the EU social charter, which conservatives called socialism by the back door. Anyway, I'll keep my voting intentions to myself. Good luck

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

Hopefully you're joking?!

lucas perez, Student

To give nurses a 2% payrise, it will cost £1 billlion  so the extra billions promised by liebour wont go far. Sooner or later the NHS will be privatised. 

Pritpal Thind, Community pharmacist

Closing 3000 pharmacies will hurt the most vunerable, elderly and those at most risk.Tax has a purpose- build humane societies.You can not replace face to face contact with skype or amazon postal deliveries.Listen to the conversations on the medical counter , its more complex !! a vote for Jeremy  is a vote for Pharmacy!Foreign Aid saves lives and reduces the risks of conflict.

lucas perez, Student

Responsibilty of indian government to look after its own ppl and not look for handouts from the UK tax payer!!

Majority of foreign aid goes to corrupt leaders and little trickles down to those that need it...If the british ppl want  to donate to charity, thats their own choice...but it shouldnt be a binding 0.7% . 

Priyesh Desai, Superintendent Pharmacist


where do you get your facts from.You think UK politicians are fools -there is always a reason and it benefits the UK govt indirectly.Wise up!

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*

lucas perez, Student

Have one 24 hour pharmacy in every town across the UK. have a meaningful minor ailment scheme whcih includes things like otomize ear spray, fucithalmic, trimethoprim,prednisolone etc

One year of the pharmacy degree dedicated to independent prescribing. 

One pharmacy/GP in every  A/E dept and available 24 hrs a day...


Its not rocket science, we just have clowns in positions of power. 


lucas perez, Student

Tax tax and more tax......WHEN WILL THIS CLOWN LEARN thats 1980s policies are  no longer applicable in  the  21st century... In 5 years time they will ask for further raises in tax........

Reduce foreign Aid by 50% and plough that money into infastructure projects. 



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