Pharmacy cuts which could hit Sheffield 'paused' and not 'shelved' say Government

The 2015 spending review said the NHS need to find 22bn in savings

The 2015 spending review said the NHS need to find 22bn in savings

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The Government has said budget cuts which could lead to the closure of several Sheffield pharmacies has been paused and not stopped.

It was reported by a number of MPs that health minister David Mowat had 'U-turned' on the policy but a Department of Health spokesman told The Star the plans had been 'paused'.

In his speech to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s annual conference, Mr Mowat previously said: "We’ve seen the petition, and that’s frankly an accolade to the way you are regarded amongst communities.

"There’s been a long consultation on the proposals and we’ve been considering the results of that consultation for some while.

"It was our intention that these plans go ahead from October. We are not now going to be in a position to do that.

"But I think it is right that we spend the time, particularly me as an incoming minister, taking time to make sure we are making the correct decision, and that what we do is going to be right for you, right for the NHS and right for the public more generally," reported by Politics Home.

From this speech, Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh and Barnsley East MP Michael Dugher called the minister's speech a 'victory' and a 'U-turn'.

But Minister for Community Health and Care David Mowat responded. He said:"Pharmacy is a vital frontline service and I am looking forward to working with the sector to understand more about the opportunities and challenges in this area.

"I want to make sure we take these difficult decisions in the right way, and maintain an ongoing dialogue with the sector while providing fairness to taxpayers.

"I am determined to support the sector as it modernises, making sure that we make the most of pharmacists' skills and provide the best possible service to the public.”

Sheffield Heeley MP Louise Haigh said: "Clearly despite warm words from the Minister, 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."

The Star would like to clarify David Mowat, not Phillip Dunne made the comments as previously reported.

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