Now Essex County Council has started its review of its Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), we thought it may be helpful to give some background into the work that has been undertaken in the past by the Parish Council and in conjunction with Ray Woodcock, a local resident, to promote the need for a second licensed dispensing pharmacy in the south of Stansted.

We have communicated with and had meetings with all relevant stake holders. Mr Woodcock has also undertaken getting signatures for a petition.

We have prepared various reports based on the profile of need. For example we completed a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment for Uttlesford District Council.

We have presented these reports to the previous Essex Health and Wellbeing Group and PNA group.

We have also taken it further than just involving and consulting service providers, and have also lobbied to get more public involvement and consultation. Our MP has also co-ordinated a meeting with the Essex PNA leads at the House of Commons – but we were unsuccessful in gaining their support.

How we researched Stansted’s pharmacy needs

  • Compared and aligned Stansted’s needs with the other larger localities in Uttlesford and Essex
  • We have looked at the rising population numbers and access to services, including transport
  • We have used the fact that the village is cut into two halves by a very steep hill and many of our rural neighbours find access difficult

Questionable timing

The review of the PNA in 2020 was put on hold due to the pandemic.

We now have a public consultation that started on Christmas Eve and ends on January 24th 2022, a ridiculous time to start a public consultation. It almost seems like our responses are not wanted.

I have written to the lead Essex Pharmacist to request a lengthening of the consultation. I am updating all previous reports and have requested to speak to the UDC Health and Wellbeing Board.

The board should promote the needs of the local areas via their consultation and based on their knowledge of our requirements. However, UDC were also unaware the consultation had commenced and have now got in touch with Essex to clarify their role and responsibilities.

The issue will also be raised when we meet Peter Holt the new Interim Chief Executive for UDC.

I hope this background is useful and I hope you will support this strategy going forward.

I urge residents to back our calls for improved access to pharmacy services by taking the Pharmacy Needs Assessment survey:

www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/LocalPharmaceuticalServicesSurvey

 

— Maureen Caton,  Stansted Parish Council Chairman