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NEWS IN BRIEF: Call for Cuts Rethink; Gunpoint Terror; Easter Strain; Walk-in Closure; HIV Pill; Diabetes


22 Mar 2016

MP calls for rethink on pharmacy cuts

Halifax MP Holly Lynch is supporting local pharmacists against a significant cut to their funding from central government, the Halifax Courier reports.

The £170m cut to community pharmacy funding will be implemented from October this year and as many as 3,000 pharmacies are expected to close as a result – around a quarter of all pharmacies in the UK.

It is expected that there may be a drive towards ‘warehouse dispensing’, which critics argue could compromise patient safety and severely diminish the relationship qualified pharmacists have with their local communities.

Ms Lynch recently organised a meeting of smaller, independent pharmacists who are expected to be particularly squeezed by the cuts.

Pharmacy workers’ recall terror as masked robber held them at gunpoint at Cleethorpes shop

Pharmacy workers told how they feared for their lives when a masked gunman stormed the shop and held them at gun-point, the Grimsby Telegraph reports.

The armed robber made off with almost £1,000 in cash and more than 500 tablets from the Lincolnshire Co-operative pharmacy in Grimsby Road, Cleethorpes, in a “terrifying” ordeal on October 22 last year.

Robert Smalley, 42, of Ward Street, Cleethorpes, was jailed for seven years after he admitted robbery and possessing an air pistol.

Five months after the ordeal, the staff members caught up in the robbery, one of whom suffered an angina attack as a result of shock, told how the ten minute-long stand-off changed their lives.

Milton Keynes CCG urge patients to order prescriptions before Easter to avoid strain on services

Health leaders at NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are advising patients to order any repeat prescriptions they need ahead of their GP practice closing over the Easter Bank Holiday, One MK reports.

Running out of daily medication could have serious consequences for patients who rely on them to control heart and breathing problems.

People are also being urged to use choose the right medical services over the Easter holidays. A&E is for serious and life-threatening injuries and conditions only.

If medical advice is required or patients become unwell and their GP surgery is closed, they are advised to first call NHS 111, a fast and easy way to get the right help, whatever the time.

Date released for closure of Southend’s NHS walk-in centre

The NHS walk-in centre in Southend is to shut down on March 31, the Basildon Recorder reports.

The date was announced by Southend Clinical Commissioning Group.

The St Luke’s GP practice co-located with the walk-in service will continue to offer appointments to registered patients seven-days a week.

The decision to stop the walk-in service was taken in September 2015 after over six months of engagement with local communities and a 12-week public consultation.

Based on the findings, local GPs who are Governing Body members of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in Southend and Castle Point and Rochford came to the unanimous decision to close the walk-in service, when the contract ends in March 2015.

Pill to stop HIV will not get funding

The NHS has been accused of a “shameful” U-turn after refusing to foot the bill for a drug that protects men from HIV, The Times reports.

NHS England said yesterday that it was up to health trusts or local authorities to pay for the pill, called Truvada, which is taken daily.

In January plans were considered to make it available on prescription under a £50 million scheme after research showed it could halve infections.

NHS England has concluded after a review that the technique known as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), is a preventative measure rather than a treatment and that therefore it will not be funded.

Type-2 Diabetes: At-risk offered healthy lifestyle help

People in England at risk of type-2 diabetes are to be offered healthy-lifestyle support by the NHS to help them prevent the condition developing, the BBC reports.

The new national programme will be launched this spring, with the aim of helping 20,000 people this year.

Patients will be offered 13 sessions focusing on exercise, education and lifestyle changes.

GPs are being asked to identify the people who would benefit the most from the programme.

This will be done through blood-glucose testing and monitoring for signs of pre-diabetes.


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