Pharmacy: St Helens

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered am ar 13 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Conor McGinn Conor McGinn Annibynnol, St Helens North

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, whether her Department has made an assessment of the potential impact of pharmacy closures on the quality of primary care in St Helens constituency since 2019.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

On 31 December 2023, there were 18 pharmacies in St Helens North constituency. Between 31 March 2019 and 31 December 2023, no pharmacies closed in St Helens North, and no new pharmacies opened. This year, there has been one closure in February 2024, as a result consolidation. Consolidation is a merger of two pharmacy businesses, and does not create a gap in the provision of pharmaceutical services.

Access to pharmaceutical services remains good, with 95% of the population of St Helens North living within a 20-minute walk from a pharmacy. This exceeds the national average of 80%. Residents of St Helens North can also access services from distance selling pharmacies that operate nationally.

It is the role of local authorities in England to undertake pharmaceutical needs assessments for their areas, every three years, to ensure provision continues to meet their population’s needs. Integrated care boards (ICBs) have regard to those assessments when commissioning services, and where a pharmacy closure impacts the access to services, a new contractor can apply to open a pharmacy in the area.

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