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‘Where’s our pharmacy?’ ask Sudbury group

Sudbury Community Health Centre
Sudbury Community Health Centre

A health watch group in Sudbury has questioned why it is taking so long for a pharmacy to be opened in the town’s community health centre.

Sudbury Community Health Centre was opened in January 2015 but there is still no pharmacy, with members of Sudbury Watch writing an open letter to ask when this service will be provided.

In the letter the committee members of Sudbury Watch wrote: “We have been increasingly concerned about the continuing absence of a pharmacy at Sudbury’s new Community Health Centre.

“When the Centre was officially opened in September 2015, Martin Royal, regional director of NHS Property Services made a promise that the pharmacy would appear shortly.

“Fourteen months after the initial opening of the Centre we are still waiting.

“It seems absurd that patients having received a prescription from their doctor or consultant then have to travel into Sudbury or to a local supermarket to get it dispensed, when it could be done quickly and effectively inside the health centre.

“The relevant space for the pharmacy was designed into the building originally and remains empty to this day.

“It is time this farce was ended and the NHS’s commitment to the people of Sudbury fulfilled as promised without further excuses or delays.”

A spokesman for NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Talks are continuing between NHS England and NHS Property Services, the organizations which have responsibility for the opening.

“We hope that they can resolve any outstanding issues as quickly as possible for the benefit of local people.”

However, Carolyn Larsen, Head of Commissioning for NHS England, said: “NHS England has approved the application of a pharmacy to operate from the new Sudbury Community Health Centre.

“The next step is for the pharmacy and health centre owners to agree the terms and conditions to allow the pharmacy to open in the building. This is not a process NHS England is involved in or can influence.”

A spokesman for NHS Property Services added: “NHS Property Services are committed to ongoing negotiations with SIAM Surgery aiming to complete the agreement for lease for the pharmacy space as soon as is possible.”

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