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Manchester pharmacies face decommissioning crisis


20 Feb 2015

Smoking cessation services provided by pharmacists in Manchester are to be reduced from April 2015.

Pharmacy-based sexual health services are also currently under consultation.

Chair of Manchester Local Pharmaceutical Commitee, Aneet Karpoor, told The Pharmacist smoking cessation programmes will become a dispensing only service from April 2015.
“Manchester City council has had massive cuts in funding and with new budgets announced, it has a £6m deficit to plug. This in turn has impacted pharmacists and our services in public health,” Karpoor said.
Manchester Council declined to comment and instead directed The Pharmacist to view the results of its consultation on these public heath services.
Following a consultation by Manchester City Council, it was strongly recommended the council reduced its current budget for children and families, which includes health and wellbeing, by almost £2.8m over the next two years to £2.2m.
Under the consultation, almost 40% either agreed or strongly agreed, to reduce the focus on specific health topics such as smoking cessation and sexual health services and instead focus on one-on-one support and work with communities. Almost a quarter polled disagreed or strongly disagreed.
Supporting people of working age to return to and remain in employment, helping people with low level mental health issues, people with long term conditions, older people and carers were all considered individually very or quite important by at least 58% of respondents.
Manchester clinical commissioning groups said the redesign of health and wellbeing services could have a “positive impact” but this would be “tempered” due to the funding reductions.
The Stop Smoking Service, which trains and supports midwives across the three hospitals in Manchester to identify and support pregnant mothers smoking, is also likely to be cut due to the gender specific nature of the programme.

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