During a visit highlighting some of the things that stand to be lost if government pharmacy cuts go ahead, the Labour MP joined Lisa Fisher from Llloydspharmacy, Whitchurch – who is also Chair of Avon Local Pharmaceutical Committee.
Along with some of the store’s customers who value the prescription home delivery service, they discussed concerns about the planned cuts, which are believed to threaten the closure of around a quarter of the city’s pharmacies.
“Thousands of people across south Bristol see their local pharmacy as an easily accessible first source of healthcare help or advice,” says Karin Smyth.
“Pharmacists are in tune with the people and communities they serve, going the extra mile with services like home deliveries of medication for those who find it hard to collect their prescription.
“They link closely to their GP surgeries, with strong relationships with all the doctors. The Whitchurch pharmacy is a case in point, as it’s located next door to the GP surgery.”
Lisa Fisher says: “Savage funding cuts imposed by the government on community pharmacy could see closures of pharmacy businesses, along with the potential for a reduction in the services from the remaining pharmacies.”
Last week Karin Smyth told a Commons debate: “We know the research shows high percentages – around a third – of those who currently seek initial advice from a pharmacy would make a GP appointment instead if the pharmacy closed.
“In areas of high deprivation this percentage soars as high as 80 per cent. Bristol South has a high density of pharmacies, high deprivation levels, and severe GP recruitment and access difficulties.
“My constituents understandably fear these new Tory cuts will lead to a cruel double-squeeze: as it is remains hard to get a GP appointment and yet harder to find a pharmacist.”
Note: There is no indication that the Whitchurch pharmacy is under greater threat than any other in the city.