LAKELAND MP Tim Farron has urged the government take action to stop the rising tide of pharmacy closures.

Speaking during Health Questions, Mr Farron said: “Access to prescriptions is made much harder given the closure of 233 community pharmacies in the last two years, so will the Minister introduce an essential community pharmacies scheme to support rural pharmacies such as those in Cumbria and keep them open?”

In response, health minister Seema Kennedy said: “We recognise the importance of community pharmacies.

"Pharmacists are specialists who have a great role in primary care, which is why they are highlighted in the NHS long-term plan.”

Speaking afterwards, Mr Farron said: “The minister’s reply was as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

“Pharmacies provide a range of services to their communities, it’s the NHS that is being left to pick up the tab for the Government’s failure to protect our rural pharmacies.”