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Letter: We Are Committed to Ensure People Have Access to Pharmacy Services

Published on: 24 Jan, 2024
Updated on: 24 Jan, 2024

Boots pharmacy, Epsom Road, Merrow

From: NHS Surrey Heartlands Spokesperson

In response to: What Has the NHS to Say About the Pharmacy Provision in Merrow?

We are committed to working with our partners to ensure local people have access to health and care services locally and this includes making sure people have access to pharmacy services – and new schemes, such as the introduction of the national Pharmacy First programme, which will enable pharmacists to provide advice to patients and prescribe medicines for seven common conditions, will further increase the support pharmacies can provide.

We understand that people may be concerned by local pharmacy closures and we would like to reassure residents that our pharmacy commissioning team continues to work closely with, and support local pharmacies, to manage any additional demand for services.

As part of a wider piece of work, the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Board is also reviewing pharmacy services and provision in the area to ensure local needs are met.

We have a robust process for considering any applications to open a community pharmacy to ensure all the required areas – including business requirements, related guidance and public need – are met. This process includes the right to appeal if an applicant is unsuccessful, and applicants also have the opportunity to submit future applications.

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Responses to Letter: We Are Committed to Ensure People Have Access to Pharmacy Services

  1. Anthony Mallard Reply

    January 24, 2024 at 3:17 pm

    Whilst it depends on the question asked, this answer by letter contains the customary political points and evasive quotes. It fails in every respect to address the question of the lack of chemists in Burpham and Merrow.

    Why is it apparently impossible these days to get a straight answer? Has an application been rejected for a pharmacy at Kingpost Parade, Burpham? If so why? Surely it’s not a state secret!

  2. Malcolm Stanier Reply

    January 24, 2024 at 6:23 pm

    Despite what has been said above, there doesn’t seem to have been any evidence of urgent action by Surrey Health and Wellbeing Board regarding the closure of the Merrow Park pharmacy.

    • J Pattison Reply

      January 28, 2024 at 3:27 pm

      The published minutes of the Surrey Health and Wellbeing board reveal no discussion of pharmacy provision.

      The ‘Pharmacy First’ programme will not help the patients of Merrow where the existing service is at breaking point. It may seem a good idea to move things out of GP surgeries but without the adequate resource to deliver them we are suffering from market failure.

  3. John Perkins Reply

    January 25, 2024 at 8:57 am

    All this letter says is: “this is my job description”.

    I wonder what would happen if such jobs did not exist, as they probably did not until fairly recently.

  4. Victor Howarth Reply

    January 25, 2024 at 9:17 am

    The others who have commented on this statement have hit the nail on the head. Actions speaks louder than words and once again the rich are favoured.

    Currently, if people have cars they can have better access to doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. The rest of us have to rely on public transport or taxis to take us to these places as we live where they do not exist.

    For those who are elderly, very ill or unable to walk far, obtaining medical assistance imposes extra mental pressure constantly, just to keep living.

  5. M Durant Reply

    January 25, 2024 at 12:15 pm

    They didn’t prevent the closure of the Pharmacy inside of Sainsbury’s in Burpham.

    The online system only works if they have stock of the medication when they are out of stock, it takes them weeks to provide the medication, so one is forced to go to a physical pharmacy to get it quickly.

  6. Helena Townsend Reply

    January 26, 2024 at 11:23 am

    I still think an answer is to address the removal of a pharmacy in Sainsburys. If that was re-introduced the pressure on Merrow wouldn’t be so great. The government should be making it mandatory for supermarkets of a certain size to have pharmacy facilities.

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