Patients asked to cough up '˜unfair' £60 delivery fee at Arundel pharmacy

Residents who already have to trek a mile to the nearest pharmacy will now have to pay £60 a year to have medication delivered.

Tuesday, 23rd January 2018, 3:40 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:07 am
Colin Stepney and other Arundel residents gathered to protest the new prescription delivery charges. Picture: Derek Martin
Colin Stepney and other Arundel residents gathered to protest the new prescription delivery charges. Picture: Derek Martin

The lack of a chemist in Arundel has been contentious ever since Lloyds Pharmacy moved out of the town several years ago.

But Lloyds – based off Canada Road – has announced patients will no longer have medicine delivered to their homes for free.

Colin Stepney, who is one of the leaders of the campaign to bring a pharmacy back to Arundel town centre, said: “It seems an awful lot of money for people to have to find.

Many residents find it hard to get to Arundel's out-of-town pharmacy off Canada Road. Picture: Google Maps/Google Streetview

“Many are not so well off, and therefore are faced with having to find the money or someone to collect their prescriptions for them.”

Lloyds said people will have to pay to have surgery prescriptions delivered: £35 for six months or £60 for 12.

Alternatively people can register for medicines online, in which case delivery is free.

Colin, 72, added: “I suspect there will be many who are unhappy with these charges. Many will not like the online option as there are many who do not use the Internet.

“It seems very unfair, especially for the elderly, who seem to be the ones being particularly penalized by these charges.”

A spokesman for Lloyds Pharmacy said: “We are looking at ways to make our home delivery service more efficient and as a result are charging for this in Arundel.

“The cost for a six month delivery service is £35 or £60 for 12 months.

“Patients can also collect medicines in person from Lloyds Pharmacy where they can receive expert advice and services from their pharmacy team.”

Along with June Barker, Colin has been leading the hugely popular Arundel pharmacy campaign.

He said: “I think [the charges] underline the need for pharmacy in the town.”

The West Sussex Health and Wellbeing Board announced in November that the ‘majority of responses’ to its survey were calling for a chemist in Arundel.

The board will now examine the responses and produce a report in the near future.

The final decision will be made by NHS England, after which pharmaceutical companies could be invied to bid to open a pharmacy.

Want to read more about the pharmacy campaign? Click here to read about how it all got started.