Council Motion: Protect Local Pharmacies

This Council Motion accompanies a Campaign Pack produced by the Lib Dem Campaigns & Elections team. You can find the full campaign pack, which includes template leaflet drop-ins, press releases and petitions, on the Lib Dem Campaign Hub here.

Pharmacies in England are under great pressure – facing greater demand, rising running costs, staff shortages and funding cuts. Across England over 650 pharmacies have been closed since 2016. The number of community pharmacies is now at it’s lowest level since 2015.

The below Council Motion will help you call on action from the Government to empower and protect community pharmacies so they can play a vital role in local health care.

You can localise the motion using local data on the number of monthly prescriptions pharmacies hand out in your area and the number of pharmacy closures your area has suffered since 2016. Please note this data is provided at constituency level.

The template Council Motion is below

Council notes with deep concern the unprecedented pressures facing community pharmacies in England. In the past 2 years alone the number of pharmacies in England has fallen by over 160. There are now just 11,000 community chemists operating in England – the lowest number since 2015.

Millions of people and families rely on their local pharmacies for over-the-counter everyday medicines, regular prescriptions and reassuring advice on a walk-in basis. For those with especially busy or difficult lives, pharmacies are often the closest and most accessible place to get health advice. For those who may struggle to engage with appointment-only services, a chance pop-in can save lives.

Community pharmacies in [AREA NAME] are a vital part of our local health services and our high streets. Community pharmacies can improve people’s health and reduce pressure on NHS hospitals and GPs. With many local residents finding it more difficult to get face to face GP appointments, and other health services stretched beyond breaking point, it is more important than ever that the Government supports community pharmacies to ensure medicines, clinical services and medical advice can be accessed locally. 

The most recent data for [AREA NAME] shows that every month community pharmacies process [INSERT LOCAL FIGURE] prescriptions for local people. However, since 2016, [INSERT LOCAL FIGURE] pharmacies have been closed in [AREA NAME] putting immense pressure on pharmacies that are already stretched with increased patient demand, rising operational costs and reduced Government support.

Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care to;

  • Request urgent emergency funding to keep pharmacies in [AREA NAME] open, and reverse closures where they are needed.
  • Empower local fully qualified pharmacists with greater prescribing rights and public health advisory responsibilities, to prevent costly and avoidable hospital admissions and free up GP time to focus on more urgent requests.
  • Develop a long-term plan for pharmacy services to put them on a sustainable financial footing, building on the ‘Pharmacy First’ approach in Scotland.
  • Conduct a Government review of the pressures facing pharmacies in England to assess the impact of pharmacy closures under this Conservative Government.


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