Fears are growing for the future of Calderdale’s community pharmacies.
Halifax’s MP Holly Lynch says she will fight “tooth and nail” against Government plans to shut around a third of all pharmacies across the country.
But cuts to community pharmacies’ funding has already started to bite, says a Halifax pharmacy manager.
Amanda Smith, manager at Heath Pharmacy on Free School Lane, has written an open letter to Health Secretary Matt Hancock urging him to rethink the policy.
In it, she says she has been a community pharmacist for 22 years and loves her job, but drastic funding reductions are hampering her team’s ability to provide an efficient and caring service to the community.
“All community pharmacies have been put under pressure due to the desire of the Government to force some to close,” she writes. “Pharmacies have had no choice but to respond by slashing staff hours and cutting services in an effort to ensure businesses can continue to function and serve their population.
“We care about our patients and we do not want to let them down but we are all reaching the limit of what we can provide.”
Ms Lynch said: “Having worked in a Halifax pharmacy when I was still at school, for many older people in particular their relationship with the pharmacist is the most consistent and trusted of any healthcare professional in their lives.
“When local chemists are at the forefront of delivering proactive wellbeing services and a level of professional advice, this has a positive knock-on effect on A and E departments and on GPs surgeries.”