Fringe Box



Letter: Adequate Pharmacy Services Are Necessary to Sustaining Public Health

Published on: 27 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 27 Jan, 2024

From: Terence Newman

In response to: Update on Pharmacy Provision in Merrow

In just a matter of months, residents in the Burpham and Merrow area have experienced two out of their three pharmacies close.

The pressure brought to bear on the one remaining pharmacy (Boots in Epsom Road) will eventually be unsustainable for the staff.

Assertions that alternative online services might offset the issue overlook the fact that so many of those potentially in need of frequent prescriptions are most likely to be those for whom the wonders of modern technology remain a mystery.

This is not a question of commerce; it is a matter of sustaining public health. Unnecessary obstacles put in the way of those who wish to support the community by opening new ventures need to be carefully reviewed and not obstruct when issues may have ready solutions.

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Responses to Letter: Adequate Pharmacy Services Are Necessary to Sustaining Public Health

  1. Terence Newman Reply

    February 9, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    A briefing has been published on the Surrey Heartlands website: Brief: Pharmacy provision in Burpham and Merrow, Guildford – ICS (

    I note that the grounds, on which the refusal for the Burpham application was made, were based on the Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) issued in October 2022, relevant for three years, and unamended for the Burpham/Merrow area. Since that date local provision has reduced by two-thirds and clearly invalidates the PNA.

    It seems wholly unacceptable that the rate of reaction to the situation that has occurred in the interim has been so slow. Over-reliance on a cumbersome and unfit-for-purpose bureaucratic process demonstrates that the responsible organisation appears self-serving and lacking in support for the general public. Is this reflective of the entire state of the NHS?

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