Clarke concerned over pharmacy rota reform

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Saturday, August 25th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has voiced his concerns at the Health Board proposals to reform Pharmacy rota provision in the Down area.
Clarke says he has written to the Health and Social Care Bard (HSCB) to voice his serious opposition to new proposals to consider withdrawing the Sunday rota service from Newcastle , Dundrum and Castlewellan areas, leaving only pharmacists in Kilkeel and Downpatrick to serve the area.
Clarke believes removal of such an important front line health service to patients would only cause inconvenience and distress for the most venerable and those in need of urgent medication during out-of-hours pharmacy services.
Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke stated:
“I have made written representations to Joe Brogan, Asst. Director Inter-graded Care, to voice my serious opposition. I have been contacted by a number of concerned constituents and pharmacists as this service has been in existence for many years and I believe would be badly missed, not to mention putting extra pressure on the other Rota pharmacist services.”
He added, “I feel to completely do away with these pharmacy rotas and to have the existing services in Downpatrick and Kilkeel is a serious injustice to the large rural geographical area which Newcastle/Castlewellan/Dundrum pharmacies provide.
“My concern is also why this is now taking place, and whether this proposal is yet another cost saving exercise at the behest of patients living within these rural areas.”
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