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Shropshire council and LPC join forces in fight against cuts

Shropshire Council: Rural communities could be "disadvantaged" by pharmacy funding cuts

Shropshire's county council and its local pharmaceutical committee (LPC) are working together to lobby local MPs about the pharmacy cuts.

Shropshire Council's director of public health Rod Thomson told C+D that Shropshire's health and wellbeing board had expressed concern regarding funding for community pharmacies, after the LPC brought the cuts to the board's attention. 

"The board was concerned that the [cuts] could see the reduction in pharmacies in our rural areas, making it harder for our residents to access advice," Mr Thomson said. 

He stressed that vulnerable patients would be "disadvantaged" by the funding drop. "The board responded to the [government's pharmacy funding] consultation and continues to lobby local MPs on the issue," he added. 

"Supportive and pro-pharmacy"

John Gentle, a member of Shropshire LPC, told C+D the organisation is trying to garner local public and political support.

"Pharmacies have been pretty poor with working with politicians and having political influence. Compared to the medical professional, we don't have the same kind of successes," Mr Gentle said.

"If we can work with local politicians and have good links with them, they will have influence. We're hoping for a groundswell of support to build up."

A Shropshire LPC member who attended a local council meeting said councillors were "broadly supportive and very pro-pharmacy". "They want greater access to pharmacies," Mr Gentle said. 

"When it comes to financing local health campaigns, which are under local political control, hopefully we will see some benefits flowing our way in the not too distant future," he added.

Shropshire is one of 22 local councils that C+D revealed this week (December 5) have put forward motions against the funding cuts.

The council proposed a motion requesting the chief executive write to the Prime Minster and all MPs, asking them to maintain the community pharmacy budget at its present level.

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