MP backs Arundel ‘in-town’ pharmacy bid
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has backed a move to bring a pharmacy into the centre of Arundel.
Mr Herbert has weighed in behind a local residents’ campaign to allow a pharmacy to open in the town’s High Street, in addition to the existing pharmacy on the other side of the town.
In a letter to NHS England, Mr Herbert describes the difficulties many residents face in accessing the existing pharmacy which is on the other side of the A27. He points out that many residents live on the town side and do not want to have to undertake a mile-long journey on foot to access it.
A Lloyds Pharmacy was originally located in the town centre before moving location to the doctors’ surgery in Canada Road. Last year Lloyds began charging for prescriptions to be delivered, a service which was once provided for free. This change has added to the call for an ‘in town’ pharmacy.
Mr Herbert said: “Pharmacies are an important link in local healthcare and can help to reduce the burdens at busy GP practices through the provision of advice for minor ailments. I think it’s anamolous that we don’t have a pharmacy in the town centre, and it would be good for residents and the High Street alike.”
The campaign for a centrally-located pharmacy was launched in May 2017, led by Arundel residents June Barker and Colin Stepney. The campaign attracted the attention of an independent pharmacist who has applied for a licence. The bid has been backed by the Mr Herbert, Arundel’s mayor Lucy Ashworth and local councillors, as well as over 3,000 residents.
Mr Herbert points out in his letter that “a new pharmacy would be supported not just by the residents who live in Arundel but also by many in the outlying rural villages.”
He adds: “Frankly it is long overdue.”
June Barker and Colin Stepney said: “We have been so encouraged by the support we have received from so many people in the town, not only for the Signature Petition but also the heartfelt letters sent in by so many people. There is overwhelming support and desire for a pharmacy in the town.
“Nick was one of the very first to sign our Petition and his support in writing a personal letter to NHS England for our Appeal, has been so appreciated.
“Not a day goes without a visitor to the town asking where the pharmacy is. We very much hope that NHS England will approve our Appeal”.
The application was initially refused by NHS England but is due to be reconsidered on appeal. A decision is expected early in the new year.
To read a copy of Mr Herbert’s letter of support in full, see https://tinyurl.com/y7cdpmms.