Fringe Box



Letter: I Welcome Decision to Allow Pharmacist To Treat Minor Ailments But…

Published on: 2 Feb, 2024
Updated on: 2 Feb, 2024

From: Anthony Mallard

In response to: Update on Pharmacy Provision in Merrow

I was delighted to read that the government has sanctioned community pharmacists to treat seven minor conditions from sore throats to infected insect bites without a GP appointment or prescription. This will free up appointments and GPs time to deal with patients with more serious and complicated illnesses.

Sadly, however, not in Burpham or Merrow where the only pharmacy is struggling to cope with the volume of work in cramped and inadequate facilities while the representative of Boots can, at best, only offer by way of a solution, a telephone call from him to our MP to discuss a feasibility study.

Marc Donovan, the Boots Development and Public Affairs Director  says: “A feasibility study is being prepared which will make recommendations for a layout change, which will likely include an enlarged dispensary and more storage and waiting space in the coming weeks.”  Well that says nothing, the coming weeks can include next week or some week in 2025, all of which can be interpreted accurately as  “coming weeks”  In my view it is all spin by both Boots – the premises are too small to do anything meaningful.

Interestingly, the company sent some managers recently to see the situation. They turned up very early in the morning – some say around 8am – long before the queues had formed.

Likewise and naturally, the MP wishes to be seen to be doing something but, frankly, that’s all that is happening. The decision is a commercial one.  The nub is why the Surrey Heartlands ICB has turned down an application to open a chemist in Burpham. No one knows and that organisation isn’t saying either. It may be for very good reasons.

So battle on our hard-working local GPs and the pharmacy staff at Epsom Road, not to mention the patient patients queing for their medicine. There seems little relief in prospect for you.

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