Councillor Patrick Clarke has written to the Health and Social Care Bard (HSCB) to voice his serious opposition to new proposals to consider withdrawing the Sunday rota service from Newcastle, Dundrum and Castlewellan areas leaving only pharmacists in Kilkeel and Downpatrick to serve the area.
Councillor Patrick Clarke believes removal of such an important front line health service to patients would only cause inconvenience and distress for those most venerable and in need of urgent medication during out-of-hours pharmacy services.
Councillor Patrick Clarke stated: “I have made written representations to Joe Brogan, Asst. Director Intergraded Care, Head of Pharmacy and Medicines Management at the Health and Social Care Board to voice my serious opposition regarding proposals to withdraw the Newcastle/Castlewellan/Dundrum pharmacy rota services and just have the existing services in Downpatrick and Kilkeel.
“I have been contacted by a number of concerned constituents and pharmacists as this service has been in existence for many years and I believe would be badly missed, not to mention putting extra pressure on the other rota pharmacist services in Downpatrick and Kilkeel.
“I feel to completely do away with the Newcastle/Castlewellan/Dundrum pharmacy rota is a serious injustice to this largely rural geographical area who these pharmacies provide this much needed Sunday service to local patients.
“My concern is also why this is now taking place, and whether this proposal is yet another cost saving exercise at the expense of patients living within the surrounding rural areas who would depend on this very necessary Pharmacy rota provision service.
“I therefore trust that serious reconsideration can be given to allow the Newcastle/Castlewellan/Dundrum Pharmacy rota provision to stay in place within the Down area, as I believe to remove this important service is only adding to further inconvenience for patients having to travel further afield to Downpatrick and Kilkeel.”