NPA members take funding campaign to ministers’ own backyards
09 Mar 2021
Pharmacists in the constituencies of Treasury Ministers and Health Ministers today warned the government not to backtrack on promises to cover Covid-19 costs.
They are displaying posters and distributing leaflets, which warn that funding cuts and Covid costs have taken many pharmacies to the brink of closure.
Meanwhile, the NPA has placed adverts in local newspapers and influential political websites, highlighting the £370m-plus Covid costs which the government has so far refused to reimburse pharmacies – despite a clear promise from the Prime Minister.
Jonathan Cooper, owner of Coopers Chemists in the Richmond constituency of Chancellor Rishi Sunak in Yorkshire, is joining the protests. He said:
“My pharmacy and many others like it have continued to see patients in the community while other parts of the health system could not offer this vital service. Had community pharmacies not worked so hard to keep their doors open during this national crisis, things would have been far worse. As a result we have incurred massive extra costs and the government needs to cover this as promised. We want to give a message to Mr Sunak: our door is open – please let us keep it that way by reversing these devastating cuts!”
National Pharmacy Association chief executive Mark Lyonette said:
“The government continues to drag its feet over offering proper financial assistance for pharmacies, so this latest campaign initiative brings the matter close to home for the decision makers, in their own constituencies. The Prime Minister promised to give the NHS whatever it needs to cope with coronavirus and pharmacies are a vital part of the NHS frontline. We need government to make good on commitments to meet all the additional costs associated with coronavirus and also address long-term underfunding – so that pharmacies can stay open to keep people well and save lives.”
Protests are taking place throughout the week in the constituencies of several government ministers, including the Health Secretary, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor.