Martin Horwood repeatedly highlighted the value of local pharmacy services when he was MP for Cheltenham. He said: "For years, we have been supporting local pharmacies to offer a greater range of advice and services from flu vaccination to straightforward advice on prescriptions and treatments to tests for blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. Part of that deal is the funding national government provides to pharmacies to take the pressure off local GPs and NHS services who are all under tremendous strain now. If people get the advice or the test from their pharmacy, they never need to see their GP or get so worried they end up going to A&E quite unnecessarily, leaving those services the time to see the patients who really need their help."
"The government says these are businesses. So are GP surgeries, but pharmacies are still part of the health care network in this country. And a huge amount of pharmacy advice and care isn't delivered by huge companies like Boots - it's delivered by great local companies like Badhams."
"With more and more NHS trusts like ours now going into deficit and social care passing more problems onto the NHS because of shortage of funds, this could add up to a perfect storm for local health and social care. If pharmacies start closing as well, the pressures on Cheltenham General and on local GPs are only going to get worse."