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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Stands Up For Local Community Pharmacies

November 2, 2016

Today, Julian spoke in a debate on the future funding of Community Pharmacies in Parliament.

The Government are looking to reform the way that pharmacies are funded after analysis showed that 40 per cent of pharmacies are in clusters of three or more, and that funding models do not incentivise better integration into primary care and high quality services.

Concerns have been raised about the impact which these reforms might have on the sustainability of some community pharmacies, particularly in rural areas.

As a result the Government announced the Pharmacy Access Scheme, which will give additional financial support to pharmacies which are more than one mile away from the next nearest pharmacy.

In the debate Julian highlighted the plight of Fulford Pharmacy, which falls only 80 metres short of this one mile rule and is not in an area of deprivation, which could grant an exception. By contrast two branches of Boots Pharmacy at Terminals 3 and 5 at Heathrow Airport will receive this funding as they are more than one mile apart, despite not serving any particular communities.

Speaking after the debate Julian said, “Pharmacies play a very important role in delivering care in the community, particularly in York Outer. I think the Government is right to look at how they can be better integrated into primary care, and I very much welcome the news that NHS England plan to develop a truly national ailments scheme by April 2018 which will seek to direct patients to pharmacies and away from GP services where appropriate.

“I am pleased that the Minister is seeking to make sure that pharmacies in more rural communities are protected, but as is demonstrated by the example of Fulford Pharmacy I think that some flexibility needs to be added into this Scheme to ensure that true community pharmacies which serve particular communities do not fall by the wayside.”

To watch Julian’s speech please click here