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Important Information About Cuts To Pharmacy Funding

by Geoff and Rachel Ray - 09:42 on 14 March 2016

Letter from TOTAL HEALTH PHARMACY

If you have been to the pharmacy recently, you may have seen posters about cuts to pharmacy
funding. We wanted to let you know what this is all about and would encourage you to come and
have a chat with us if you have any concerns.

Total Health Pharmacy is a family business run by Geoff and Rachel Ray and has been providing
community pharmacy services in Watton for nearly 10 years. We have a superb team of staff who
many of you have got to know well over the years and our annual patient survey indicates that our
local community really values the service that we provide. Being open 7 days a week from 8am
until late into the evening (including Saturday and Sunday) has meant that healthcare support and
advice is available at a time to suit you and always without an appointment.

On 17th December 2015, the Department of Health announced that they were cutting funding for
community pharmacy by £170m in 2016/17. This was a completely unexpected announcement with
no consultation or negotiation. There now follows a consultation but the clear indication from
Pharmacy Minister, Alistair Burt MP, is that the cuts will still happen. This despite the Government
maintaining that Pharmacy is to playa greater role at the heart of the NHS.

At the moment your prescriptions are dispensed within your pharmacy by your regular and trusted
pharmacy team who understand your healthcare issues and individual needs. The government are
proposing that your prescriptions are dispensed off-site in a 'prescription factory' and that your
usual friendly and helpful service will be replaced by a faceless click and collect service.

In some areas, the government believes the public can do with less pharmacies so some will close.
Equally, cutting the funding so drastically may force some pharmacies to close and most certainly
it is likely to threaten the jobs of the staff who work within the pharmacy.

Many of the services that Total Health Pharmacy provide are done free of charge, such as
prescription delivery to housebound patients, monitored dosage trays to help you take your
medication safely and on time and free and accessible advice for you and your family. With less
funding and potentially less staff, many of these services will cease to exist.

There is a major national campaign to persuade the government to review their decision and we
need your help. Your view counts and your voice is very important. It's easy to get involved.

  1. If you have a computer sign the e-petition against the cuts at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/116943
  2. Come into the pharmacy and sign our paper petition to the Prime Minister
  3. Write to your local MP to express your concerns that they will support the community healthcare interests in Parliament
  4. If you are on Facebook, get involved in the social media campaign. Visit www.supportyourlocalpharmacy.org and follow them on Facebook for regular updates and to share their information
  5. Share your experiences of how your local pharmacy has helped you no matter how big or small. We want the government to understand how important the local community pharmacy network is. If you have any stories or comments, please direct them to Healthwatch Norfolk (an independent body with statutory powers). They can be contacted as follows;

www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk

            Telephone        0808 168 9669

            Email               enquiries@healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk

A very informative parliamentary debate took place on Tuesday 23rd February at 2.30pm which
clearly outlines the risk to local communities of these cuts and the way they are being
implemented.

We want to reassure you that we will continue to provide the best possible service to you and we

believe that with your support we will be able to persuade the government to review their policy.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments, queries or concerns

Kind regards

Geoff and Rachel Ray


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