Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:
To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether he has has made an assessment with Cabinet colleagues of the potential impact on public health of changes in the levels of closures of pharmacies between 2015 and 2023.
No assessment has been made of the impact on public health of pharmacy closures.
The Department closely monitors the market to ensure that people in England have good access to National Health Service pharmaceutical services, including services focused on health promotion and prevention of ill-health. Despite the increase in pharmacy closures seen in recent years, there is a similar number of pharmacies to ten years ago, and about 80% of the population live within 20 minutes’ walking distance of a pharmacy. Every three years, local authorities’ Health and Wellbeing Boards in England undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments for their areas to ensure that provision continues to meet their populations’ needs.