Fight to bring back pharmacy

Residents gathered in High Street where the pharmacy used to be to show their support for the campaign. Picture: Derek Martin SUS-170314-145057008
Residents gathered in High Street where the pharmacy used to be to show their support for the campaign. Picture: Derek Martin SUS-170314-145057008
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Arundel residents have banded together to bring back the town centre’s long-lost pharmacy.

Lloyds Pharmacy left High Street several years ago to move to a new building at the doctors’ surgery in Canada Road outside the town.

“Since this happened, the lack of an ‘in town’ pharmacy has been one of the biggest complaints from residents and visitors,” said Colin Stepney, 72, who is leading the campaign.

“It seems to be a sign of the times but I think one of the shops that should be in the town centre is something as important as a pharmacy.”

Many infirm residents have to rely on relatives to drive them to the existing pharmacy, Colin added.

Lucie Stirling, co-owner of Arden Guest House in Queens Lane, said: “Our guests occasionally need a chemist and are surprised to find there isn’t one in town.

“The Lloyds Pharmacy isn’t particularly accessible on foot, especially if guests are already feeling unwell.”

Colin added: “The way to a solution, sadly, is complicated and uncertain.”

Rather than merely persuading a company like Boots to open a new pharmacy, the final decision, after a long process, is made by NHS England, Colin says.

Residents are currently being surveyed about their needs in a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA).

“Can I urge all the residents to complete it as it does cover aspects of ‘convenience’ and ‘satisfaction’ on using your nearest pharmacy.

“It won’t be straight forward but with the PNA review going on, it seems a good time to try again.”

An Arundel Town Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the campaign and mayor James Stewart raised the issue at full council on Thursday. He encouraged all councillors to complete the survey and to pass it on to friends and family.”

Members of the public can fill out the survey here.

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