New fears have been raised that up to 46 of Leeds’s pharmacies could be forced to close under new Government measures.
Ministers announced earlier this year that they want to cut funding for community pharmacies by £170 million under new contract arrangements, with the reduced budget taking effect from October.
In Leeds, 46 of the 185 services that are currently open in the city are feared to be under threat.
The matter will be debated at today’s monthly full council meeting at Leeds Civic Hall.
Stewart Golton, leader of the opposition Lib Dem group, has tabled a motion calling for the Government to reverse the cuts.
He will also urge the council to find ways to help threatened pharmacies stay afloat.
Councillor Golton said: “GP surgeries are struggling to cope with demand, so far from closing pharmacies, the Government should empower them to do more, given the expertise and knowledge they have.
“The reason for the forecast closures is that the Government believes some communities will have ‘too many’ pharmacies when their reforms are implemented. But for the mum who nips out for Calpol for her sick child, or the elderly patient who needs their regular prescription delivered, the personal service that a community pharmacy offers is essential.”
The Government is also pushing for more online prescription ordering and a centralised dispensing system.