I am writing to you to share the concerns of many of my constituents about the potential closure of the pharmacy at St Mawes, in my constituency, and to ask for your help to save this vital asset to the community.
Since May 2015, the St Mawes pharmacy has operated under a bespoke contract negotiated by NHS England, which recognises the unique challenges felt by St Mawes and the Roseland Peninsula. This is a remote community with an aging population where, in 2017, the Integrated Care Board, alongside the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment, agreed to provide an ESPLPS contract to maintain this essential local service in recognition of the needs of this remote location which cannot economically sustain a pharmacy without outside help.
As the role of local pharmacies has expanded to compliment local GP services, St Mawes has stepped up. During the Covid-19 Pandemic this pharmacy conducted hundreds of consultations and inoculations and has continued to do so since.
Unfortunately, the pandemic also exposed the precarious financial position this pharmacy is in. I have learned that the bulk of their funding is spent on wages, particularly for the pharmacist and locum, but also for the essential staff needed to maintain the pharmacies essential community role. Since 2015 these wages have increased, however the funding available from the original contract remains frozen. Alongside this, the lockdown effect on the business has caused St Mawes pharmacy a considerable loss in revenue which has put the future of the pharmacy at risk.
I am sad to learn that because of this difficulty, St Mawes pharmacy can no longer afford to operate as it needs to support the local community. As a result, the community have informed me that it is likely that this essential service must now close.
I have also written to the Integrated Care Board and have asked for their help to save this vital asset in this unique and special place.