Pharmacies under fire

Yesterday, 38 Degrees members Ben and David handed in our petition against pharmacy funding cuts to the Department of Health, joined by our interns Tom, Jinan and Holly.

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Jeremy Hunt wants to take away £25000 in funding from local pharmacies to force many of them to close. We’re not sure how he thinks this is going to benefit people, but we do know he has given no alternative.

We often forget about pharmacies. For many of us, they’re just there, a shop front of chipped and slightly faded paint, usually tucked in next to some kind of eatery.

But you never know how important something is until you need it. Until the weather starts getting colder and all your joints start to stiffen against the chill. Until your child comes home with a fever that just won’t go away. Until we get sicker than we know how to cope with.

That’s why we started the petition to protect our pharmacies. With over 15,000 signatures, we hope it will convince Jeremy Hunt that depriving people of pharmacies is not the best way to help us or our NHS.

The NHS is struggling with the cuts already in place, leaving long waits for consultations and too few beds for patients. For many, the local pharmacy is their most reliable alternative. Without local pharmacies, thousands will be unable to pick up much needed prescriptions, or even simple over-the-counter medicines.

While big pharmacies like Boots will probably survive the cuts, some believe that the company has come to care more about profits than people. Is this the alternative people will be left with?

Despite being a time for joy, Christmas is a time when most people get sick, from family visits and office Christmas parties and the colder weather. Without pharmacies, our most vulnerable people will be left to try to cope on their own.

We can’t let that happen.

Though the petition has been handed in, you can still sign it using the link below:

https://speakout.38degrees.org.uk/campaigns/save-our-pharmacies