Pharmacy closures would increase GP visits

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More than one in four people who would usually seek advice on common ailments from their local pharmacy would make an appointment with their GP surgery instead if the pharmacy closed, says a report exploring the potential impact of government funding cuts that are likely to result in pharmacy closures.1

The authors said that a nationally representative survey of 2054 adults by YouGov had shown that 29% of people would seek advice on common illnesses from their GP if their community pharmacy closed. The report was commissioned by Pharmacy Voice, an association representing community pharmacies, to explore the potential effects of a recent announcement by the Department of Health that it will cut NHS funding of community pharmacies to help reduce health spending.

The potential switch to GP consultations for minor illness could be even higher in deprived communities, the report warned. Research by NHS Fylde and Wyre clinical commis...