Banbury MP Victoria Prentis has waded into the row over where Deddington villagers are allowed to get their prescriptions cashed in.
Mrs Prentis has been unable to circumvent the rule that forbids villagers from continuing to get their medication from their GP at Deddington Health Centre but she says some patients may be able to get exemptions.
Patients living in the village have been told that from October they will no longer be able to get their medicines from the health centre’s own dispensary after their GP appointment.
Instead they must walk across the village to a new pharmacy, Delmergate Ltd, because of a 2005 law that says no person living within one mile of a pharmacy may get their prescriptions from a GP dispensary.
Delmergate Ltd opened in late July in Hudson Street. The health centre has been given a three month grace period to allow it to use up its stocks.
Mrs Prentis said: “As a patient of Deddington Health Centre who has relied on the convenience of the dispensing service, I am extremely disappointed to hear about the changes. In its current format, many patients are able to collect prescriptions quickly and easily when visiting the health centre.
“I am particularly concerned about the impact of changes to elderly patients.
“When I was made aware of the proposals, I contacted NHS England (NHSE), to make my own views known and pass on the concerns of constituents who had contacted me to express their dismay.
“NHSE explained they had received an application to open a pharmacy in Deddington which... was initially rejected but an appeal was upheld.”
NHSE told the MP the health centre was unable to offer the full range of NHS pharmaceutical services.
“A community pharmacy operates under different regulations and must have a pharmacist available in order to dispense prescriptions. A pharmacy would offer the full range of NHS pharmaceutical services to all patients in Deddington and any other member of the public,” they told her.
Mrs Prentis said: “While it is important for Deddington to have access to a pharmacy with a variety of services, I remain concerned about the impact of the changes on patients.
“NHS England have since assured me if any of my constituents feel it is extremely difficult for them to get their medication from a community pharmacy rather than from the GP practice, it will be possible for them to apply for an exemption.”
To apply call Beth Lacey on 01865 963808 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. In case of difficulty, contact Mrs Prentis’s office on 01869 233685 or email email@example.com.
Mrs Prentis said: “Dispensing services has been an area I have taken a keen interest in at Westminster. I met the Chair of the Dispensing Doctors Association in April and have since coordinated a joint letter with my colleagues to the Minister for Primary Care, Steve Brine MP, to raise concerns about the long-term sustainability of dispensing doctor practices, given their unique position in rural communities.”