Closure plan could see scores of pharmacies shut across South Yorkshire

Michael Dugher MP with campaigners outside a pharmacy.
Michael Dugher MP with campaigners outside a pharmacy.
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Dearne communities are campaigning against Government plans to cut millions of pounds from the pharmacy budget which could see thousands of chemists’ closing.

Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher joined forces with pharmacists, residents and councillors for a protest outside Lo’s Pharmacy in Worsbrough.

Under Government plans £113 million is due to be shaved from chemists this financial year and a further £95 million is set to be cut in 2017-18.

Mr Dugher said previous Government estimates showed up to 3, 000 chemists may face closure – one in four across the country. This would mean up to 300 closures in Yorkshire and the Humber alone.

The Labour MP is now calling for a full vote in the House of Commons so ministers can put their plan for millions in cuts to a decision of MPs.

He said: “It was great to see so many residents, councillors and pharmacy staff in Worsbrough all joining forces to warn about the threat to community pharmacies in Barnsley.

“If they close, people who depend on their local chemist, including the elderly, will have to make longer, more expensive journeys elsewhere. And it will add even more strain on our already overstretched GP surgeries and A&E units. Ministers should listen to the public and drop these damaging cuts before it is too late.”

The department of health said the plans were part of a scheme to “modernise” the sector and no final decisions have yet been taken.