Liberal Democrats back Save our Pharmacies campaign 

20 Jun 2024
Pharmacies campaign

Community pharmacies are going through the worst crisis in living memory. 1,400 community pharmacies have closed in the last decade, including 6 in Newcastle. 

Nationwide 10 pharmacies are closing a week, and three quarters of pharmacies are making losses. As well as those 6 community pharmacies in Newcastle who have closed their doors for good, many more are struggling to make ends meet.  

The three Liberal Democrats’ candidates Ali Avaei (Newcastle Central & West) , Mark Ridyard (Newcastle East & Wallsend) and Dr Aidan King (Newcastle North) are fully backing the in Save our Pharmacies Campaign organised by National Pharmacy Association. 

This includes two petitions in support of threatened closure in Kenton and Heaton which can be found at 

Ali Avaei, himself a community pharmacist, said: “Over the last decade the Tories have decimated our public services and the community pharmacy sector has been hit very hard by this. Our staff are over-stretched, the supply chain is very fragile, and pharmacists struggle to spend enough time with patients to give them essential advice.” 

Dr Aidan King is a former community pharmacist. He said: “As an NHS doctor I understand the importance of community pharmacy and the essential role it plays in patient care. A viable community pharmacy sector is vital for the future of the NHS. For every pound spent on pharmacy, many pounds are saved elsewhere in the NHS. If patients aren’t cared for properly in community, our hospitals will be overwhelmed.” 

Mark Ridyard is supporting this campaign by attending a pharmacy in Byker to listen to concerns raised by pharmacy staff. You can read more at 

 In a joint statement the three candidates said : “As the Conservative government has dragged its heels over fixing access to care, it’s people right across the country who are losing out now and in the future. 

“With one hand the Conservatives are asking pharmacists to do more but with the other, they’ve cut millions of pounds of funding and overseen many closures. 

“The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a real plan and the determination  to fix the crisis in Pharmacy and the wider NHS. The Liberal Democrats have pledged to “work towards a fairer and more sustainable long-term funding model for pharmacies” in our manifesto for the 2024 general election. This can be found at 


“We say in our manifesto that in Government we would build on the Pharmacy First approach to give patients more accessible routine services and to ease the pressure on GPs”. 

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