In a u-turn cautiously welcomed by campaigners, the Health Minister has announced that the proposed £170m cut to pharmacies which could have seen 1 in 4 pharmacies in Sheffield close have been shelved and they will be rethinking the plan.
Thousands joined the campaign to halt the cut in Sheffield, signing petitions online and in local pharmacies. Across the country up to one million called for a halt to the nonsensical closures which would have put local GPs practices under unprecedented strain and harmed local health provision.
Making the announcement the new Health Minister said "We've seen the petition and that's frankly an accolade to how highly regarded pharamcies are in your communities. It was our intention that these plans go ahead in October, but we are not now going to be in a petition to do that."
Commenting, Louise Haigh MP who started a local petition and campaign to halt the cut said:
"This is welcome news for local people and the fact that so many signed our petition demonstrates how much we all value our local pharmacy service."
"But the battle is by no means won. The Government need to stop dithering and confirm once and for all that no pharmacies will be cut in Sheffield."
"This pause however demonstrates once again the power of communities coming together to to fight for the services we all rely on. The Government has to recognise that if they continue their headlong pursuit of never ending cuts that they will damage the social fabric of our areas and simply push the costs elsewhere such as onto our already-stretched GP services."