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Tories treat pharmacy “as an afterthought”, says Lib Dem MP

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Tories treat pharmacy “as an afterthought”, says Lib Dem MP

The Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Dyke has accused the Conservatives of repeatedly treating community pharmacies “as an afterthought” and insisted her party is committed to ensuring there is a plan for their long-term survival and a review of the “extraordinary pressures” they are enduring.

Dyke (pictured), who has said she will contest the Glastonbury and Somerton seat at the next general election after her current constituency Somerton and Frome is divided into two following a review by the Boundary Commission for England, claimed there are no pharmacies on Glastonbury's high street after a spate of closures.

Criticising the government for failing to properly fund community pharmacy, she said: “Local pharmacies provide a vital frontline health service. With GP appointments scarce and other health services stretched beyond breaking point, it is more important than ever that community pharmacies are supported.

“But the sad reality is that this government undervalues them. Time and again, the Conservatives treat community pharmacies as an afterthought. Even now, when they're under critical pressure and closing their doors, the government won't step in with emergency funding or provide them with the clarity they need about their funding beyond March.”

Dyke said the Liberal Democrats want to see “more training places and incentives to attract people into the (pharmacy) profession” and insisted community pharmacies “need emergency funding from government.”

“Pharmacies face soaring costs, driven in large part by inflation and the workforce crisis and uncertainty about funding levels beyond March. Unlike typical businesses, they’re unable to raise prices to their primary customers, NHS patients, to address the funding squeeze,” she added.

Pharmacy contractor and Somerset Council councillor Mike Hewitson also called for an urgent “injection of cash” and posted on X: “Our two pharmacies have been here for 234 years. Like 75 per cent of pharmacies, we are currently making a loss, which is unsustainable.”


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