LUFF AND SPICER CALL FOR RESPONSES ON CONSULTATION ON DISPENSING GPs
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LUFF AND SPICER CALL FOR RESPONSES ON CONSULTATION ON DISPENSING GPs

Peter Luff, MP for Mid Worcestershire and Sir Michael Spicer, MP for West Worcestershire are asking people to send them their views on the government's current consultation on the future of dispensing GPs.

The government has just begun a consultation on changes to the way in which GPs can dispense medicines. In the consultation, the government proposes to change these rules so that GPs cannot dispense to patients if there is a pharmacy within 1 mile of the surgery. This would affect patients and GPs in market towns and villages like Pershore, Upton-upon-Severn, Evesham and Broadway.

Patients who can currently choose where to have their prescription dispensed - at their surgery or at a pharmacy – would be forced to go to a pharmacy. This would be very damaging for patients who live in rural areas, and especially to the elderly and disabled. It may even undermine the financial viability of some GP surgeries.

Sir Michael Spicer commented,

"What is important is the interests of the consumer in all this. I very much encourage my constituents to send their views to me at the House of Commons. I will make sure that these are included in the consultation process."

Peter Luff added,

"Pharmacies, especially the smaller independent ones, have a vital role to play in the health system. But these proposals will help the big chain pharmacies like Lloyds and Boots and those in supermarkets. In Broadway, for example, the only other pharmacy apart from the GP is a small branch of Lloyds that probably couldn't cope with the volume of work.

"If people have to get into their cars to collect prescriptions, they will combine the collection with the rest of their shopping - and that means the supermarket. Why remove choice from people in this way? No wonder I have had hundreds of letters of protest from the patients of the surgeries threatened with this change."

Responses to the consultation are due on 20th November 2008. It would help the MPs if those with strong views could send them in well before this date so they can pass them on to the official consultation.


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