Pharmacy closures will cause communities to 'fall apart’, Portsmouth summit warned
By Neil Trainis
Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for health and social care, Matthew Winnington, told its first ever summit on pharmacy last week that he fears pharmacies in coastal areas such as Brighton, Portsmouth and Bristol are more likely to close than those in other parts of the country, leading local communities to “fall apart”.
The summit brought together pharmacists and leading figures in the NHS to discuss pharmacy closures in Portsmouth which, according to figures shown during the meeting, revealed 20 per cent of the city’s pharmacies had closed in the last five years, going from 41 to 32.
According to the BBC, Winnington told the summit that local communities would be “stuck” without a pharmacist and warned: “We really would fall apart. We don't want to see any more close.”
Raj Laly, the director of Laly’s Pharmacy, which has 11 branches in Hampshire, said Government funding cuts were largely responsible for many closures.
“It’s at a time when the demand for what pharmacies are required to do has increased, so it’s been very difficult for groups to survive. That’s why you're seeing lost of closures happening at this time,” he told the BBC.
Lalys Pharmacy posted on X (formerly Twitter) that the summit had been “good” and “proactive” and had looked “at ways to reduce this trend of closures”.
Figures from the NHS Business Services Authority in May this year revealed the number of pharmacies in England had fallen to its lowest number since 2015, dropping by 160 over a two-year period to 11,026.