I am as unnerved by the state of our local pharmacy as I am by the proposals to put 600 more houses in the area of Four Marks.

I am sure that the staff have a lot of difficulties putting together a service for prescriptions in addition to the new offers put in place apparently by Patient Access (see NHS website under Four Marks pharmacy).

These are quite extensive, some for more serious checks, and are charged for at quite high prices - some are hundreds of pounds.

The Tories keep saying they are not trying to undermine the NHS, but this is clearly not true. If you can’t get these basic checks at the NHS and go to the pharmacy instead it should not be charged for! 

In addition in recent months the staff seem very unhappy, harassed, and the service for prescriptions appears to be chaotic and time consuming - waits of ten minutes are usual.

Not surprising if they are having to deal with the NHS services in addition.

Recent reviews on the website show that stress is a major factor for the staff, not to mention the patients, and it seems to be more so since the pharmacy started opening till 6.30pm.

They also close at a moment’s notice without any warning, just with a note on the door, meaning presumably there are staff shortages with nothing in place for staff illness.

Whatever their problems are, can you imagine the chaos or possibly even the closure of the pharmacy in the face of another 600 houses’ worth of people? 

If you are one of the many opposing these new estates the pharmacy is part of the infrastructure along with everything else that makes the proposals unworkable.

This is not a letter accusing the staff, just the system, whether that be Pillbox as a company or the powers that be in the NHS and government. 

Marilyn Jones

Four Marks