Shropshire Star

Pharmacies to turn off lights in protest over funding pressures

Around 1,400 pharmacies have closed in England in the past 10 years, with 10 currently closing each week.

Published
Pharmacies

Thousands of pharmacies across the UK are taking part in an “unprecedented” day of action on Thursday to protest at funding pressures.

Pharmacies are turning off their lights and staging protests described as the first of its kind by the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

New analysis by the NPA showed that two thirds of pharmacies in England have had to cut their opening hours since 2015 due to extreme funding pressures.

Around 1,400 pharmacies have closed in England in the past 10 years, with 10 currently closing each week, said the association.

Pharmacy closures
A pharmacist stocking shelves (Julien Behal/PA)

Pharmacies have closed in Wales and Northern Ireland while in Scotland, pharmacies are reducing their hours and there is now a risk of some closures, it was warned.

The NPA said that with major parties promising to expand pharmacy services in England, there were questions about how they will reverse “deep cuts” it complained meant that the NHS often does not even cover pharmacies’ costs when they supply medicines.

Paul Rees, chief executive of the NPA said: “It is great to see pharmacies taking part in this day of action in all corners of the UK today.

“This is a massive step and the first day of its kind, with pharmacies turning out their lights, blacking out their windows and highlighting the huge pressures they are under.

“Funding for community pharmacy has been squeezed over the last decade and as a result it is now a sector in very real distress.”

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.