UPDATED: Despite the best efforts of Brading Residents Action Group (BRAG), the Island’s MP, Councillors and others, NHS England have this week turned down an appeal against their refusal to allow a pharmacy to open in Brading.
National pharmaceutical chain Day Lewis placed an appeal against NHS England’s decision to prevent a pharmacy opening on the High Street in an empty shop on the Bull Ring corner, but the appeal was turned down and it is now understood there are no further avenues that can be pursued to have the decision reversed.
Sue Birch, chairman of BRAG has said:
“The report repeatedly says that Brading Residents have choice, how can having no Pharmacy in the town amount to us having choice? For example, look at the choice within Sandown – residents there have the choice of 4 Pharmacies.
“The decision totally disregarded the views and overwhelming support for a Pharmacy in Brading from the local residents and have relegated this very important contribution to the process, as an irrelevance. BRAG fails to understand why at least a public hearing was not convened to allow residents of Brading to put forward their views to the committee.
“We’re very sorry that those who currently have difficulty accessing pharmaceutical services will not have the situation improved in the near future, but BRAG is committed to try to improve community pharmaceutical provision in our area.
“Our thanks go to everyone who supported the appeal by signing the petitions left in local business premises and writing to the Appeal of their own volition. We did all that we could but, sadly, to no avail, it fell on deaf ears!”
UPDATE TUESDAY: In a statement issued, Tim Harrington, Head of Commercial Development for Day Lewis, has said:
“As a company whose mission it is to help people in the community to ‘stay healthy and feel better’, Day Lewis is extremely disheartened by NHS England’s refusal – particularly when the Brading community themselves also formed a supporting signed petition containing over 900 signatures. To have no pharmacies in the community when Sandown has four and then claim that Brading has sufficient choice in pharmacy services is outrageous.
“We have received comments that pharmacies in surrounding towns may be able to deliver Brading patients’ medications, however Day Lewis’ appeal for a physical pharmacy presence in Brading was desired to fulfil more than medication dispensing. All our pharmacy teams across the nation seek not to work solely within the confines of their four walls, but to reach out to the community – to engage with local residents and promote healthy living.
“We are gravely disappointed that the NHS committee has decided to completely ignore the views of the residents, and are also perplexed as to why the application was refused without an open hearing – which would have allowed local residents to make their views known.”
Going forward, Day Lewis has made it clear that although there is no further action that they can take in turning NHS England’s decision around, they will continue to meet with the Brading Residents Action Group (BRAG) to see how they can work together, in order to ensure that the Brading community gets the pharmacy services and care that it rightly deserves.