Seema Malhotra MP is asking local people to give their own experiences of using community pharmacies in Feltham and Heston ahead of a vital parliamentary vote next week.
The government has announced budgets for community pharmacies will reduce by 3.4% in 2016-17 and 4% in 2017-18. I am dismayed at this decision, which represents a 12% cut for the rest of the year, on current levels, and a 7% cut in the following year. Labour has called a debate in the House of Commons on this next week to call on the government to reverse these cuts, and I am keen to get your views on this.
It is clear to me that the Government failed to engage constructively with the industry in negotiations. I believe these cuts are driven by cost and not by concerns about care. The Government is targeting 'pharmacy clusters' but research by Durham University has suggested that will result in more pressure on already overstretched GPs and A&E departments.
The former Government Minister stated that a quarter of all pharmacies could close because of these funding cuts, which would be equivalent to five or six here in Feltham and Heston. I am hugely concerned at the impact this will have on community healthcare.
I hope you will contact me at email@example.com with your own experiences that I can refer to in the debate in order that we build the strongest arguments for reversing these cuts.