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Unexpected turnout of patients to protest pharmacy cuts

Organisers “lost count” of attendees at the event in Chelsea

NPA used the London event to announce its funding petition has reached 1.5 million signatures

An event to allow London’s patients to voice their concerns about the pharmacy funding cuts was so popular that latecomers were forced to stand.

Organisers Pharmacy London and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) only expected around 120 patients to attend the event at Chelsea Town Hall last Sunday (May 15). But they “lost count” of how many additional attendees arrived and were soon forced to set out extra chairs and open up the balcony area.

NPA chief pharmacist Leyla Hannbeck told C+D at the event that the government is “failing to see the impact” of the cuts on patients. “This campaign is all about patients and I’m happy that so many made the effort to come today,” she said.

Petition support continues

Ms Hannbeck used the event to announce that the paper petition against the planned £170 million cut to pharmacy funding in England has now received 1.5 million signatures.

The NPA will add the comments made by patients during the two-hour event into a book that it is planning to submit to the government along with the petition on May 24, she added.

Raising awareness among politicians

Pharmacy London chief executive Rekha Shah told C+D that London MPs are more likely to pay attention to the concerns of patients in their constituency, rather than those of pharmacy representatives.

“If three of four people write to the same MP after this event, that’s going to push them to do something,” she said.

Ms Shah wrote to the newly-elected London mayor Sadiq Khan to inform him about the event, and had been promised a “substantive response” from the Greater London Authority.

“That means I can write to [Mr Khan] and tell him some of the stuff that came up [today],” she added.

C+D will publish videos of patients’ comments from the event on its website later this week

Find out how the funding cuts and the latest category M clawback are going to hit contractors here


How have your patients reacted to news of the funding cuts?

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


P M, Community pharmacist

cut locum wages now

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Perfectly competent pharmacists are being treated like this by employers and the supposed regulators. MURs ?! 

M Elnemy, Non healthcare professional

LONDONERS THINK the world ends after the M25.....why should pharmacy be immune to cuts...!!

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

oops it was the Kings Fund not the DOh sorry....

Rekha Shah, Community pharmacist

It shows (at least to me) an amazing amount of shortsightedness on the part of the policy makers don't you think? There is definitely a place and need for pharmacists BOTH in General Practice and in Community Pharmacy and working from with or both of the premises  to have a major impact on reducing current and ongoing pressures on GP capacity 

Harry Tolly, Pharmacist

Rekha, Keith and his ilk are stuck in a time warp of the 1980's. With access to SCR's and hopefully full access at some point in the future a pharmacist could consult with a patient anywhere at any time convenient to the patient. Dr Ridge is part of the radicalised mindsets of Manchester who are keen to implement ideas that were relevant and radical  in the 1980's but have failed to move on as technology has moved on. With full access a pharmacist could be based ANYWHERE. Not rocket science really.


Talk about dinosaurs.

Rekha Shah, Community pharmacist

Kevin I think they are referring to pharmacists who will/are working in GP practices can take over GP roles. It shows very little real understanding as well as narrow tunnel thinking when we see this dogged refusal to consider just how pharmacists in Community Pharmacies can also help similarly and where appropriate (of which there are plenty of areas as you and I know!) - and with the bonus of the increased access & convenience that Community Pharmacies provide as opposed to General Practice along with considerations such as one practice pharmacist in GPractice will be off sick sometimes, will have holidays etc - so issues to do with cover in these situations; will still not reduce pressure on Reception for appointments; employment issues; shortage of clinical rooms in a General Practice etc etc 


Sue Per, Locum pharmacist

There will be locums for those eventualities, such as holidays, "off sick" etc., or alternatively, it might be very sunny day, and the patients may be feeling better on the day!!, 

Angela Channing, Community pharmacist

That's an idea! A new job, locum practice pharmacists!!! 

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

News today that according to DOH Pharmacists can take over GP roles "with a little extra training" vs No new services for Pharmacy from PSNC - do these people talk to each other? what do they say if they do apart from pass the biccies?

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