They’re increasingly the poor relation of the NHS’s primary care network of support, yet pharmacies across our city have been playing a critical role in our communities for decades. During the pandemic, when parts of the NHS had to be closed or restricted, they continued to provide critical access to medication, without which many would have struggled.
Last week I visited Costessey Pharmacy on Norwich Road to meet with pharmacist Prabodh Devlukia and his wife Meena, who have been practicing here for an amazing 30 years now. They and their dedicated team explained to me many of the difficulties community pharmacies like theirs are now facing.
A squeeze on government funding, a shortage of qualified pharmacists (caused in part by both Brexit and Covid), and worsening medicine shortages (Brexit) have whipped up a perfect storm – which has seen an increasing number of community pharmacies go out of business.
These are all issues I’ve heard before during our recent Save Our Pharmacies Campaign (https://www.facebook.com/saveourcommunitypharmacies/). Except now they have the added impact of Covid and Brexit, and their associated difficulties.
This is an issue I will continue to highlight and speak up on because I know just how critical our pharmacies are to our communities – especially the elderly, and those with ill health and mobility issues. In a healthy and well-resourced NHS our pharmacies would be thriving. The fact they are not should concern us all.
Read this post on my Facebook page.