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Bill Esterson MP: Chancellor's Approach to Pharmacy Loans is "Nonsensical"


Yesterday, Bill Esterson MP has tabled a Parliamentary Question to the Chancellor of the Exchequer demanding answers about emergency loans to local pharmacies, after meeting Dr Lisa Manning, CEO of Sefton Local Pharmaceutical Committee.

At the height of the pandemic, the government gave nearly £400 million emergency loans, which was subsequently used to purchase PPE, install screens and carry out home deliveries for shielding patients.

The government is now demanding all of that money be repaid. This is despite pharmacies experiencing higher potential for Covid-19 transmissions as GP offices, dentists and optometrists shut during early lockdowns.

Commenting, Sefton Central MP Bill Esterson said:

“Community pharmacies have had an impossible job over the past year, remaining open while GPs, dentists and optometrists shut their doors.

“Pharmacists have been the unsung heroes of this pandemic.

“Now, the government is demanding nearly £400 million in emergency loans which were used to purchase necessary PPE and other safety measures.

“I am seeking answers from the Chancellor today and I hope he will listen to representations from the pharmacy community to stop this nonsensical approach.”

Commenting, Dr Lisa Manning, CEO of Sefton Local Pharmaceutical Committee, said:

“Community pharmacies have remained open throughout this pandemic, delivering high quality care and putting their teams at extreme risk.

“The Government needs to consider the financial impact of asking the pharmacies to pay back the emergency loans at a time where immediate pressures are pushing many community pharmacies to the brink and payments had not been enough to cover financial pressures brought on by Covid-19

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