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MP takes C+D's pharmacy funding query to the government

Paula Sherriff put the question to Chris Grayling last week

Labour MP Paula Sherriff asked the leader of the House of Commons for a debate on how the planned funding drop could affect vulnerable patients

A Labour MP has used a question drafted by C+D to confront the government about the effect of planned pharmacy funding cuts on vulnerable patients.

Paula Sheriff used a parliamentary debate last week (January 28) to ask House of Commons leader Chris Grayling if the government will debate how the potential closure of a quarter of community pharmacies in England would affect patients.

Using a question drafted for her by C+D, the MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield highlighted the "essential services" pharmacists deliver – including methadone dispensing – as well as minor ailments advice that reduces admissions to "overburdened GPs [and] A&E departments".
"Plenty of time for representations"

Mr Grayling responded that the government’s negotiations on pharmacy funding have "only just started" and there is "plenty of time for representations”.

"We need to get the process right and [pharmacy] minister [Alistair Burt] has heard the point she made," he added.

Watch Ms Sherriff ask the question in parliament.

Ms Sherriff, who is also treasurer for the all-party pharmacy group (APPG) has already given C+D an insider’s view of a meeting with the Department of Health about the planned 6% cut to funding. 

What do you think about Mr Grayling's response?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


M Yang, Community pharmacist

There was one thing that bothered me (apart from Chris Grayling's dismissive answer), was how poor attendance was on the day. I noticed as well they're not in the traditional chamber, possibly because of refurbishments to Westminster. In a future debate, let's make sure we have better attendance, hopefully with a lot of MPs present from Labour, SNP and anyone else who isn't Conservative. I'm sure they would all love to add their bit to the debate.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

I wonder if C&D would have done the same in a campaign for safer work conditions for pharmacist employees. Or does it have to affect Multiples and Kirit for action to be taken ?

M Yang, Community pharmacist

Personally, I think C & D have done admirably. When Greg Clark rejected the call for a student cap, they reported on how the minutes to those meetings went "missing" and highlighted the foul play that was at work. 

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

That may be so but they represent the interests of multiples/contractors not phamracists.

Dave Downham, Manager

Utter tosh, sir.

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Really. C&D dance to the tune of their paymasters like most others. Care to ask them about the Nurofen story that broke late last year. 

London Locum, Locum pharmacist

Really. C&D dance to the tune of their paymasters like most others. Care to ask them about the Nurofen story that broke late last year. 

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

"""Watch Ms Sherriff""".... this link is broken and take to a page where Medicx report is

M Yang, Community pharmacist

I'd very much like to see what Ms Sheriff said in the Commons. She's raised awareness of this issue and I hope when the times comes for a full debate she'll be there to fight our corner.

James Waldron, Editorial

We have now updated the link in the article, or you can view it here: 


James Waldron, C+D Editor

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

"Mr Grayling responded that the government’s negotiations on pharmacy funding have "only just started" and there is "plenty of time for representations”. "

ah so we are negotiating are we - I thought it was a done deal!. thats ok then I'm sure  the PSNC will......

or maybe not :-(

Yuna Mason, Sales

Well done C and D and Paula Sherriff. The FB post and petition are all helpful too. Petition still needs national press publication. The fact that Alistair Burt 'heard' the point doesn't fill me with confidence; all that tells you is that he isn't deaf. It doesn't mean he's going to listen to it or do anything about it. 

M Yang, Community pharmacist

The e-petition home page actually gives a break down of how many signatures e-petitions receive in the last hour. I've checked it and every hour it receives at least 200. I've also done my bit of social media and shared that facebook post.

Stephen Walsh, Community pharmacist

Add to that this wonderful post on Facebook which has over 100,000 like and been shared by nearly 46,000 people since it was written on Friday. I think this is behind the 8000+ extra signatures.

M Yang, Community pharmacist

Since last saturday, the e-petition has gained another 8000 signatures. On it's own it may not be a magic bullet and instantly turn back unpopular funding cuts, but I like to think that Paula Sherriff's efforts in the Commons, combined with the e-petition, media attention e.g. Daily Mail, Sunday Times; and increasing public awareness has made the people inside the closed door meetings aware that they're now being scrutinised. It might spook them into giving actual answers and provide meaningful solutions, rather than think they can do whatever they want.

Chris Mckendrick, Community pharmacist

e-petitions, newspaper reports and facebook posts will all raise the public profile of the cuts, but if there is going to be a debate in parliament then we need to get as many MPs as possible sympathetic to our arguements. The best way to do that is to get as many of your customers as possible to write or e-mail their local MP and to motivate them do that they need know that their pharmacy is at risk of closure as one of the 3,000. The consultation ends March 24th so it has to be done now, so do what we all do best - talk to your customers, explain and ask for their support - they will not let you down. The Government may do,your customers won't, but you need start today.

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

"A Labour MP has used a question drafted by C+D" .................just confirms the rent a gob mentality of some MP's who have little understanding of complex issues.

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

If the cuts are rescinded, then will contractors guarantee to invest this money into frontline staff  and Pharmacy or will they just bank it offshore ?

Sobhash Jethwa, Community pharmacist

It's a funding "cut"!!. This will cause staff cuts.  Most of the pharmacies do not have offshore accounts. Its only the bigger multiples who have clever tax accountants and Cayman banks

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