Local MP highlights seriousness of the funding crisis

Frustrated by the ongoing plight of the community pharmacy sector caused by the funding crisis, Kim Gamble, pharmacy contractor in Pelton Fell and Great Lumley, posted a message on facebook to make people aware of the real hardships she, and many other contractors, are facing. The content was picked up by Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, in response, he visited Kim and her team at the Pelton Fell branch. Mr. Jones was joined by local councilor, Simon Henig.

Supported by Ann Gunning, Services lead at Community Pharmacy Northeast Central, Kim, drawing on her own experiences, was able to outline the risks to individual contractors and the community pharmacy network as a whole. Mr. Jones was very receptive to the views expressed and has written to the Department of Health and Social Care. In the letter, Mr Jones outlined his concern about several issues;  the fact that the profession’s core funding has been frozen for five years; dispensing at a loss and also the added pressure on remaining businesses caused by the increasing number of pharmacy closures. Mr Jones has called on the Secretary of State to work with Community Pharmacy England to quickly agree a new, appropriately resourced contract.