Nick Clegg MP visits Whitworth’s pharmacy in Crookes to listen to our concerns on the recent Government proposals for the future of community pharmacy

Nick Clegg MP visits Whitworth’s pharmacy in Crookes to listen to our concerns on the recent Government proposals for the future of community pharmacy

May 5, 2016



Nick Clegg Liberal Democrat MP for Sheffield Hallam yesterday (4th May) visited one of the community pharmacies in his constituency; Whitworth Chemist in Crookes to meet the pharmacy team and hear how recent Government proposals for community pharmacy, including a £170m reduction in funding for 2016/17 could lead to the closure of 1 in 4 pharmacies across England, threatening patient access to pharmacies and pharmacy services.

Pharmacies are a valuable and valued resource. There are currently 128 community pharmacies across Sheffield providing care and support to their local populations through the provision of core NHS contractual services such as; dispensing medicines and appliances, advice on self-care, disposal of patient returned medicines, sign-posting and health promotion as well as locally commissioned services. For example, Sheffield pharmacies such as Whitworth’s in Crookes offer services such as a minor ailments scheme which also includes support for people undergoing cancer treatment.

Under the Government’s proposals there is the risk that at least 32 pharmacies across the city could close, reducing patient access to healthcare services and advice, increasing pressure on GP practices and hospitals in the city. Other Government proposals include plans to introduce warehouse dispensing to drive efficiencies in the sector. The implications of these Government proposals on patient care have not been properly considered and may be damaging.

It is not clear from the Governments proposals how funding cuts will be implemented so there is no way of predicting which pharmacies may be affected. What is clear is that pharmacy closures will affect patient access to healthcare advice and services from pharmacies, putting yet more pressure on other health services such as GP practices and hospitals.

Currently in Sheffield we have an increasing problem with used needle waste littering streets and residential areas. If pharmacies currently providing a needle exchange service were to close this problem will only get worse.

There is also the social support and advice that community pharmacy teams provide free of charge to their patients and local residents. If pharmacies close where will vulnerable, elderly and socially isolated patients receive the additional support they need? Moving to warehouse dispensing or an ‘Amazon style’ supply of medicines model will not help support these people.


Nick Clegg was in agreement that the Government’s messages regarding the future of community pharmacy seemed “muddled” and has agreed to support our national pharmacy campaign and will raise a parliamentary question to find out what assessment the Government has made on community pharmacies contribution to locally commissioned services such as minor ailments and needle exchange services, and what impact closure of pharmacies and reduction in delivery of these services will have on patient care and other health services such as GP practices and hospitals.

What you can do to help:

Patients and the public:

Visit the website: or your local community pharmacy to sign the Government petition (which now has over 1 million signatures!).

Send us your stories: If you value the service you receive from your pharmacy or have a story that demonstrates how the pharmacist or pharmacy team has helped you then please share that with us by sending it to us at the address or email address below:

Susie Coates

Support Manager

Community Pharmacy Sheffield

WMS House, 61-67 Wicker, Sheffield, S3 8HT




Pharmacists and Pharmacy Teams:

Continue to raise awareness with your patients and customers and ask them to sign the petition (campaign packs are available from the NPA if you have not already got one).

Send us your patient stories to the address above.


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