High hopes a pharmacy will finally return to Arundel

Campaigners are optimistic a hugely successful campaign will finally bring a pharmacy back to Arundel.

Locals want to see a pharmacy in Arundel again. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170314-145057008
Locals want to see a pharmacy in Arundel again. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-170314-145057008

Most of the responses to a recent consultation have been calling for a chemist for Arundel, according to the West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board.

Colin Stepney, 72, who led the campaign, said: “Arundel residents made themselves very clear that they want a pharmacy in the town.

“Visitors are forever asking us where the pharmacy is. It is for them as much as for us.”

Colin and fellow chemist campaigner June Barker spoke to the wellbeing board on Monday and presented the 3,174 signatures.

Colin added: “We were really there to make the case as we have been trying to over the past few months.

“It is totally out of our hands now, it is back in the system. I remain optimistic.”

The centre of the town has been without a chemist since Lloyds Pharmacy moved to the doctors surgery in Canada Road several years ago.

The pharmaceutical needs assessment (PNA) run by the wellbeing board aimed to measure demand for chemists in the local area.

Arundel residents who signed the petition were encouraged to take part in the PNA to make sure their views were heard by NHS England and companies like Boots who might want to open a pharmacy in the town.

Ahead of the deadline last weekend, the board issued an update saying the ‘majority of responses’ called for chemist in Arundel.

The board will now examine the responses and produce a report early next year.

The final decision will be made by NHS England, and pharmaceutical companies can then bid to open a pharmacy.

Colin said all he can do wait and see if the campaign has made the crucial difference.

“It is up to the pharmaceutical comapanies and NHS England in the end.

“I think it has made the point. All we can do is hope.”

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