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Ruislip pharmacist calls for help from public over NHS cuts

The owner of Ruislip Manor pharmacy is concerned small businesses, such as his, will shoulder the burden of NHS cuts

Ruislip Manor Pharmacy staff are asking for help

A Ruislip Manor pharmacist is calling for the public to sign a petition to save local pharmacy services, in light of NHS budget cuts.

Mr Sanjay Doegar, who owns Ruislip Manor Pharmacy, Victoria Road, is worried community pharmacies are under threat as a result of a reduction in the national budget, with further cuts looming in the future.

He said: “As everyone knows, the health service is under considerable strain and, although the government has recognised the important role of pharmacy in alleviating queues at GP surgeries and packed A & E departments, it has decided to shrink our budget by 6%.”

The Department of Health has indicated that many community pharmacies are too close together and it expects some to shut as a result of the funding reductions.

Mr Doegar is fighting for smaller local pharmacies, as opposed to larger chains as they “have dealt with all your family needs, know you personally and have a good understanding of your health history.”

He continued: “We provide vital healthcare and advice to the people of Ruislip and to visitors and workers who pass through this area, making sure that patients get their medicines and know how to take them.

“We are often one of the few agencies regularly in touch with vulnerable local people, checking on them and passing information to family doctors.

“Our customers know they can pop in and see a health care professional, without an appointment, at a time to suit them thus allowing access and choice for patients.”

Ruislip Manor Pharmacy, Victoria Road

Pharmacies are paid by the NHS to dispense prescriptions and provide some essential services such as flu vaccinations but Ruislip Manor Pharmacy also also provides other services free of charge such as delivering medicines to vulnerable and housebound people’s homes.

Mr Doegar is concerned that independent pharmacies will be “left to shoulder the burden” of a cut to their gross profit.

The owner said: “Ruislip Manor Pharmacy is also a small business, unlike the supermarkets, who can subsidise their pharmacies as a ‘loss leader’, and the multiples, who can spread the affect across the group, independent pharmacies.

“It’s tough to absorb a 6% pay cut at a time when we have been called upon to ease the burden on the NHS - my pharmacy colleagues and I have had to deliver even more services and dispense more prescriptions.

“The pharmacy budget has not kept pace with inflation or real increases in cost over the years so shrinking it even further is a blow.

“Our only option may be to reduce our costs, which is bound to impact on jobs or services.”

Mr Doegar will be contacting nearby MPs and is asking patients to get in touch and support their local pharmacy wherever they are located.

An online petition to government 'stop cuts to pharmacy funding and support pharmacy services that save NHS money' has reached over 10,000 signatures so far.

Mr Doegar added: “We don’t want to be one of the pharmacies forced to close. Please sign the online petition.”

You can add your signature to the petition by clicking here .

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