Picture: L-R: Siraz Bux, Pharmacy Manager, Chris Skitterall Head of Professional Services, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Louise Gatley, Chief Officer Bolton LPC.

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, says cutting community pharmacy funding “threatens patient care and safety” as she urges residents to offer support to their local pharmacy before consultation ends.

The Government proposes cutting the funding community pharmacies receive by £170 million as the cash is diverted to online suppliers, which could see up to 3,000 pharmacies close.

Ms Qureshi said: “Cutting funding for community pharmacies threatens patient care and safety and that’s why I’m lobbying for an impact assessment of the proposals to be carried out as a matter of urgency. We need to get behind our local pharmacies because if these proposals are pushed through the most vulnerable will bear the brunt, yet again.”

Over 8,000 patients across Bolton access community pharmacies daily and last year saw pharmacies across the Borough dispense over 5.5 million prescriptions, according to the Bolton Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

Louise Gatley, Chief Officer of Bolton LPC, said: “Local Community Pharmacies help people stay well, get the most benefit from their medicines and manage their health. Pharmacies are at the heart of communities and they have the most regular contact with their patients which puts them in the position to identify when a patient’s condition is deteriorating.”

The Government is consulting with organisations about its plans until the end of the month.

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