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East Ward Pharmacies

I am really concerned to hear reports that several pharmacies, serving the Wakefield East ward, are at risk of closure, or have potentially already been earmarked for closure. Many residents rely on local pharmacies for their prescriptions and for ease of access to vital health advice. I am working closely with Cllr Stuart Heptinstall, local councillor for Wakefield East, in efforts to challenge this.

Demand for pharmacy services is rising, yet there has been no increase in core funding since 2014, and there have been cuts of over £200 million since 2015/16. Research by the Company Chemists’ Association finds that between 2015 and 2022, 670 pharmacies closed permanently in England, with 41% of permanent closures falling in the most deprived areas. Meanwhile, workforce shortages remain a significant concern, with the vacancy rate doubling to 8%.

In relation to the issues we are facing locally, I have contacted Boots to ask to meet with them to ascertain the validity of these rumours.

I have also contacted Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) in relation to pharmacy provision in Wakefield.

In addition, I have reached out to the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB) - who are responsible for pharmacy provision in Wakefield - to ask how they will ensure there is equitable access to pharmacies for residents in East Ward.

I have also contacted Community Pharmacy England to discuss with them the issues facing pharmacies across the country.

I know that these concerns will cause real anxiety for residents at a time when they are already feeling the pressure of an NHS on its knees. People are unable to get a GP appointment and are facing huge waits in A&E. All too often, a local, trusted pharmacist has plugged the gaps in our struggling health services.

This is yet another example of the Conservatives failing to have a plan for our communities to support our NHS.

A Labour Government will expand the role of the community pharmacy, creating a Community Pharmacist Prescribing Service. This will enhance pharmacists’ roles and expand their reach in areas like East Ward.


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