Choice is the better option

As a patient at Bloxham Surgery, I completely disagree with the view expressed by Dr Anne Edwards, who feels that a pharmacy is not necessary in Bloxham (Banbury Guardian, February 4).

The dispensary at Bloxham Surgery has many benefits to patients. That said, it also has significant disadvantages.

It is a dispensary, not a pharmacy, hence there is no qualified pharmacist on site and the invaluable service that a pharmacist can offer is now available locally to Bloxham residents.

Over-the-counter medicines, which are not available in the dispensary, are now also available locally, again with advice as to any possible incompatibility with prescribed medication.

The Government actually encourages us to use the pharmacist more; some of the larger chains offer a whole raft of services which are not only of benefit to patients but also GPs.

Lloyds, for example, delivers medication to the homes of elderly and vulnerable patients.

I agree with your leader writer who says the sensible option would be for all patients to be issued with a prescription – and to be able to choose where their drugs are dispensed and surely it is not beyond the wit of someone in NHS Oxfordshire to implement this.

I also agree that parking is a major problem in Bloxham and the sooner the shop frontages are adopted as a parking bay and double yellow lines put down on the carriageway, the better.

The new South Bar House, housing West Bar and Horse Fair surgeries, has, within the building, a branch of Cox & Robinson Pharmacy.

Why didn't Bloxham Surgery replace its dispensary along with its limited services, with this new pharmacy?

I assume this is because the rental income for the space would be nowhere near as great as that generated by a dispensary.

Let's be under no illusion, the dispensary is a good income generator for Bloxham Surgery.

Have they missed a trick, hence the dismay at its opening?

You state in Our View that "doctors' surgeries could improve their profits".

As the salary for a senior GP is well over 100,000 per annum, I am not sure that that argument would stand up to scrutiny. In the days when this dispensary was opened salaries were somewhat less generous.

It can surely only benefit us all for GPs and pharmacists to work more closely.

Why should that benefit be denied those of us who are patients at Bloxham?

I hope people will support the pharmacy in Bloxham and Dr Edwards (and I assume her colleagues) drop their opposition.

Let the GPs be doctors and pharmacists dispense pills in my book.

Name and address


I would like to suggest that people in Bloxham and the surrounding villages boycott the new pharmacy.

It will be disastrous for the local doctors' pharmacy if this continues.

It is certain that no income means no future for the new pharmacy.

I would assume that if you are not using the local doctors you will be with one in Banbury where the pharmacies are plentiful and easier to visit.

John Stevens

Whittons Close

Hook Norton