Agenda item

Motion submitted in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 14 as to Community Pharmacies

To consider the following Motion in the names of Councillors Munro and P A Davies;


“This Council notes that:


1)    Community pharmacies are a critical part of primary care and perform a vital frontline health service. They also played a significant role in supporting and caring for patients during the pandemic and have remained accessible to the public at a time when many people have been unable to access local GP services;

2)    Community pharmacies have long been a common fixture of many high streets. For many people, the local pharmacist is the first point of care and many of us access pharmacies for a wide range of health services. Community pharmacy is not just about being a dispenser and retailer of medicines. As part of the NHS Long Term Plan to improve the quality of care within the primary care sector, the role of community pharmacy has expanded to meet the growing demand, whereby pharmacies are commissioned to provide services based on locally-identified needs and heavier reliance is to be placed on them involving patient referrals from overstretched GP surgeries;

3)    The Company Chemists’ Association has revealed a shortfall of over 3,000 community pharmacists in England, a number which has increased over the last 5 years. In November 2021, there were an estimated 1,700 forced closures of pharmacies due to a lack of pharmacists. Research by the Company Chemists’ Association also found that between 2015 and 2022, over 40% of permanent community pharmacy closures took place in the 20% most deprived parts of England;

4)    NHS data has revealed that England saw a net loss of 215 pharmacies in 2020/21, resulting in the lowest number of community pharmacies in six years. There have also been a number of pharmacy closures across Kirklees in recent years;

5)    A Chemist & Druggist (C+D) survey in 2021 found that pharmacies are struggling to recruit and retain staff. 74% of pharmacy branch managers said that they have experienced difficulties in recruiting pharmacists and pharmacy staff and 61% said they had difficulty retaining staff in 2021.


This Council believes that:

1)    Any pharmacy closure is a loss to the community it serves. The closure of community pharmacies is putting more pressure on GP practices and A&E departments;

2)    The Government’s plans to channel patients from GPs to pharmacists is likely to fail unless the workforce shortfall crisis is addressed;

3)    Pharmacies are experiencing significant recruitment and retention issues. Many pharmacists are leaving the profession for a number of reasons, including the working environment, an increasing workload since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, low remuneration and pay levels not being competitive and because they are forced to subsidise the cost of drugs themselves due to shortfalls in NHS funding levels for drugs. Many pharmacists are leaving their roles for better pay and working conditions elsewhere;

4)    The Government needs to recognise the pressures pharmacies face and provide better support and funding to ensure that recruitment and retention issues and challenges are addressed. This will help prevent further closures of pharmacies across Kirklees and across the country.

This Council, therefore, resolves that:

The Leader of the Council will write to the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, to demand that the Government devises an evidence-led workforce plan for community pharmacies to help tackle recruitment and retention issues.”


Item not considered (due to time constraints).