Save your local pharmacy - that is the message from a group of pharmacists worried about their futures after funding cuts were announced.

Pharmacists in Epsom and Ewell could lose up to £30,000 a year each, equivalent to a member of staff's wages, and fear losing staff would impair their ability to function effectively.

They are calling on their customers to write to MP Chris Grayling about the importance of community pharmacies.

Surrey Comet:

The letter Sharn Dev posted to customers encouraging them to write to Chris Grayling MP

The owners of Horton Pharmacy, Miles Pharmacy and Ricky’s Ewell Spring Pharmacy are worried about their futures after health minister Alistair Burt announced cuts to funding.

At a meeting of MPs and peers at the All-Party Pharmacy Group in January, Mr Burt announced a six per cent cut in funding by October 2016 – from £2.8 billion to £2.63 billion.

Mr Burt said the extent of closures would depend on the ability of individual pharmacies to cope with the cuts but warned that smaller, independent pharmacies were most likely to be affected.

Surrey Comet:

Sharn Dev has been the owner of Horton Pharmacy in Horton Lane (pictured above) since it opened in 2012 and is co-ordinating the local resistance to the news.

He said: “Our role in a smaller community is far more encompassing than a large town centre store.

“We probably have a higher proportion of elderly and vulnerable patients, who are unable to get to town so easily.

“There is no GP service within a mile of us.”

Surrey Comet:

Sharn Dev and Kelvin Avbulimen in Horton Pharmacy in Epsom

Samit Patel, 29, has run Miles Pharmacy in Chessington Road, Epsom with his wife for two years.

He said: “Although we compete with each other, if one of us was to close, we couldn’t provide the same level of service and care as other pharmacies.

“It is vital for older people and people who don’t have a car to have a pharmacy close to them.”

Sejal Patel, 29, is the co-owner of Ricky’s Ewell Spring Pharmacy in High Street, Ewell with her father Ricky.

She said: “If it is written in person it will have more of an impact than a petition.

“We need to make sure patients know that this is the situation, but it is also about making sure we survive.

“The chains will be able to survive this, but the independents will not.”

Leader of the House of Commons Mr Grayling told the Epsom Guardian: “The proposals are at an early stage and subject to consultation.

“I have already raised concerns on behalf of constituents with the minister leading the consultation.”

The owners of Horton Pharmacy, Miles Pharmacy and Ricky’s Ewell Spring Pharmacy encourage customers to tell Chris Grayling MP why their pharmacies are important, by writing to