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Stansted second pharmacy campaign: Patients told to use airport pharmacy despite it not being open to the public



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Campaigners fighting for a second pharmacy in Stansted have been told patients can collect prescriptions from Stansted Airport’s Endeavour House instead – naming a dispensary that is not even open to the public.

The Essex Health and Wellbeing Board has just published its draft Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA) and concluded for a second time that there is no need for another dispensing chemist in the village, despite public opinion to the contrary.

Boots in Cambridge Road is the only dispensary in the village. Calls for a second one, next to Stansted Surgery at Castle Maltings in Lower Street, have once again been sidelined. Those with mobility and transport issues living in the lower part of the village struggle to reach Boots using Chapel Hill.

Customers queueing outside Boots in Cambridge Road, Stansted, which has drastically reduced its opening hours. Pic: Vikki Lince (57618608)
Customers queueing outside Boots in Cambridge Road, Stansted, which has drastically reduced its opening hours. Pic: Vikki Lince (57618608)

The PNA lists specialist pharmacy Independence Direct Ltd, which is not open to the public as a walk-in chemist, as a nearby option at just 4.3 miles away.

It says people have access to transport to reach pharmacies within 20 minutes, while the impact of new homes in the area on pharmaceutical services "has not identified any gaps in provision".

Campaigners said the document was littered with "anomalies" and urged people to respond during the consultation period, which ends on August 5.

Stansted Parish Council chair Maureen Caton (57618622)
Stansted Parish Council chair Maureen Caton (57618622)

Stansted Parish Council chair Maureen Caton said the assessment had "completely ignored" all issues raised by villagers and she vowed to fight on.

"I intend to continue the campaign and request our MP [Saffron Walden Conservative Kemi Badenoch] scrutinise the process of this assessment, which does not take into account public opinion and moreover their needs," she said.

Campaigners said the PNA lacked local knowledge and had failed to take into account the immense pressure the village's only chemist was already under, despite the best efforts of its staff.

* Health and wellbeing boards are statutory bodies introduced in England under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, whose role is to promote integrated working among local providers of healthcare and social care.



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