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Patient groups call on Hunt to protect pharmacy

NHS Alliance co-chair Mark Spencer signed the letter to Jeremy Hunt

Leading charities and patient groups have written to the health secretary calling on him to protect community pharmacy access, in light of the government’s planned £170 million funding cut.

The group, which includes the chief executives of the Alzheimer’s Society, Parkinson’s UK, NHS Alliance and Diabetes UK, implored Jeremy Hunt to give reassurances that the proposals will not result in a reduction of access or quality of vital community pharmacy services.

The group's letter states that there is a “significant risk of negative consequences” for patients and healthcare professionals if the government’s proposals become a reality.

It also argues that a reduction in pharmacy funding in England would have a “detrimental impact” on access to “vital primary healthcare advice and support”, at a time when GPs and hospitals are already under “considerable pressure”.

“This runs counter [to] the ambitions many of us signed up to in the Five Year Forward View for the NHS, to get serious about prevention, empower patients and engage communities,” the collective said. 


Pharmacy Voice reaction

Commenting on the letter, Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said he continues to be encouraged by the support pharmacy is receiving “from all quarters”.

“This latest intervention shows just how valued our contribution is to the communities we serve,” Mr Darracott said.

He added that the level of opposition the government has encountered means that ministers must take time to seriously consider the alternatives to cutting pharmacy funding.

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