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  • Writer's pictureDan Heley

Campaign to keep vital pharmacy open picks up pace

A campaign to save the Boots pharmacy at St Andrew’s Parade in the Bournville area of the town has received over 500 signatures as well as receiving both local and national media coverage.


The campaign has also collected hundreds of signatures on the doorstep across the estate and in the Healthy Living Centre. The people of Weston have made a big noise to show our communities won’t be left without basic services.


The pharmacy, earmarked for closure in February is at the heart of the Bournville estate in Weston, home to two of the most deprived postcodes in the UK where fifty per cent of residents don’t drive and the next closest pharmacy is at full capacity.


North Somerset Council states that people living in Bournville experience some of the greatest health inequalities in England and the second-highest level of disability in North Somerset.

 

Daniel Aldridge (left) has been leading the campaign to keep the pharmacy open

Daniel Aldridge, Policy Officer at Weston Constituency Labour Party and petition organiser said: “Like so many in Weston, my family and I rely heavily on our local pharmacy for regular medication.


The possibility of its closure has caused anxiety among many residents, especially the vulnerable who depend on it for their basic healthcare needs.

While many may be able to access an online pharmacy or drive to another, our most vulnerable rely on the security and routine of this essential local service.


Weston is home to a significant number of elderly and disabled individuals who require regular medication. The closure of this pharmacy in South Ward would mean that they would have to travel further distances to access their prescriptions, which would be detrimental to their health and further worsen health inequalities for the most in need.


The Labour Party is committed to getting the NHS back on its feet with a clear focus on preventing ill-health, an essential part of which is secure access to medication”.

 

Cllr. Ian Parker North Somerset Labour Councillor (South Ward) Vice-Chair, Health, Overview & Scrutiny Panel said: "I'm delighted the online petition has received so many signatures.

It sends a clear message to the decision makers that a pharmacy at Bournville is vital, and that its closure would be devastating to the community."

 

Cllr. James Clayton, Member for Bournville Ward on Weston-super-Mare Town Council and Executive Member for Safety in the community, North Somerset Council said; "The consequences of this closure are disastrous for our most vulnerable here on the Bournville, the closure will mean worsening access to basic healthcare for those most in need.


This pharmacy has played a vital role in our community since the 1940s, this is about basic needs being met, it’s not a luxury, we all deserve secure access to medication.

We are working closely with the authorities to find a suitable, sustainable solution for our community so a pharmacy remains on the estate for all who need it“.

 

Cllr. Catherine Gibbons, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Children's Services, Families and Life Long Learning, North Somerset Council said; “Pharmacies play a crucial role in providing quality healthcare services across our town, often the first point of contact for patients with health concerns, providing advice and treatment for common conditions as well as dispensing prescribed medicines.


The closure of the Boots Pharmacy would not only disrupt these essential services but also put additional pressure on other healthcare providers in our community, the consequences of which would be appalling for some of our most vulnerable children and young people, including those in care, care leavers and our SEND children facing additional barriers.

Data shows that British children are increasingly falling victim to poor health outcomes and lag behind their international counterparts. A Labour Government has committed to creating the healthiest generation of children ever, ensuring access to local services is part of that”.

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