Wellingborough woman hands in ‘largest petition ever’ against planned pharmacy cuts

Dora Shergold hands in the petition at 10 Downing Street.
Dora Shergold hands in the petition at 10 Downing Street.

A Wellingborough woman has helped to hand in what organisers say is “the biggest ever petition to Downing Street” against proposed pharmaceutical cuts.

In March it was claimed that up to a quarter of Northants pharmacies could close because of millions of pounds worth of Government cutbacks.

Yesterday (Wednesday) a group of representatives, including Dora Shergold of Wellingborough, handed in a petition representing 1.8 million voices against the cuts.

Mrs Shergold said: “I myself have health problems, and rely on a wheelchair when leaving the house. I am also the main carer for my husband.

“I do give back to society by working as a volunteer representing carers on several committees, I find it therapeutic, but when something like this budget cut is being discussed it really worries me as a service user and carer.

“Our Government has promoted the use of our local pharmacies as a first point of call when we need help/advice on health matters, then instead of proposing an increase in the budget to allow for more services to meet the increased numbers of additional inquiries it is instead looking to make cuts.

“This is a worry for someone like me.”

Pharmaceutical bosses believe the cuts will have catrastrophic effects on the level of services they can currently provide, including free home delivery.

It is expected that under the proposals up to 3,000 pharmacies across England would close, limiting future accessibility and putting increased pressure on GPs, emergency and urgent care.

Anne-Marie King, chief officer of Northants and Milton Keynes Local Pharmaceutical Committee, met several MPs in Westminster yesterday.

She said: “The speed briefing event was very well attended and now we must focus on challenging their thinking and letting 1.8 million voices be heard.

“The public need and want the services and accessibility and face-to-face contact that are provided by community pharmacies.

“About 1.6 million people visit a pharmacy every day in the UK and would clearly like to still be able to do so.”