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HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 04 May 2016

NPA petition reaches one million signatures, so what next?

3 May 2016, Chemist & Druggist, Beth Kennedy

 

The NPA Support Your Local Pharmacy Campaign petition has reached over one million signatures and will be presented to Downing Street on May 24, the same day the Government consultation is due to close. NPA head of communications, Stephen Fishwick, stated that the campaign will now be focused on parliamentary outreach and in particular MP’s in relevant constituencies.

 

The Pharmaceutical Journal and Pharmacy Biz also report on the NPA petition.

 

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Support Your Local Pharmacy petition attracts 1,000,000 signatures

3 May 2016, The Pharmaceutical Journal

 

A petition against government plans to slash £170m from the community pharmacy budget in England has attracted 1 million signatures.

 

Campaigners say the petition is the largest ever health-related petition of its kind in the UK, with an estimated 30,000 patients or customers signing the Support Your Local Pharmacy petition every day. The petition is due to be presented to Downing Street in May 2016.

 

Ian Strachan, chair of the National Pharmacy Association, which launched the petition in February 2016 in Elephant and Castle, south London, says: “The government seems to think that putting a few hundred pharmacists into GP practices is a good swap for the loss of potentially 3,000 community pharmacies. I disagree. And so do at least a million patients and concerned citizens.”

 

Rob Darracott, chief executive of the community pharmacy organisation Pharmacy Voice, says the support reflects the value that the public has for community pharmacy.

 

Sue Sharpe, chief executive of the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, adds: “The public seems to recognise what the government so far has not: that community pharmacy teams are vital front-line NHS providers who can give face-to-face healthcare advice and support at a time and place that is convenient for patients.”

 

The petition calls on the prime minister and health secretary to abandon proposed cuts to community pharmacy funding because of fears that they will threaten pharmacy services and force many pharmacies to close, putting pressure on GPs and hospital services.

 

 

NPA petition opposing Government cuts hits one million signatures

3 May 2016, Pharmacy Biz, Neil Trainis

 

A petition launched by the National Pharmacy Association designed to force the government into reconsidering its swingeing cuts to pharmacy funding has hit one million signatures.

 

The Support Your Local Pharmacy Campaign petition achieved its milestone amid widespread concern amongst members of the public at efficiency measures which could culminate in the closure of community pharmacies and damaging consequences to public health.

 

The NPA said its campaign prompted 30,000 patients “and concerned citizens” to register their objections to the cuts on a daily basis.

 

“I’d be lost without my pharmacy, they take such good care of me. It’s crazy that any politician would think it’s ok to take this kind of support away from patients and other people in need of health care,” Lil Benson, a 90-year-old patient and constant visitor to Daveys Chemists in Liverpool, said having signed the petition.

 

Ian Strachan, chairman of the NPA, said: “It is now absolutely clear that the Department of Health has misjudged how people feel about local pharmacies.

 

“Patients value the face-to-face support they get at local pharmacies; getting medicines online or seeing a pharmacist by appointment in a GP surgery is not faintly equivalent to the accessible care available in pharmacies.

 

“The government seems to think that putting a few hundred pharmacists into GP practices is a good swap for the loss of potentially 3000 community pharmacies. I disagree. And so do at least a million patients and concerned citizens.”

 

The NPA said it will take the petition to Downing Street this month.

HDA Media And Political Bulletin – 04 May 2016

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