Fears over new prescriptions pick-up serviceBy Laura Herbert
June 18, 2012
Proposals for a home delivery service have been put forward after a change in location for Arborfield’s prescription pick-
up service raised safety concerns for the elderly.
Swallowfield Medical Practice has provided the collection service for decades and from Monday villagers will be able to pick up prescription medication from Henry Street Garden Centre in Swallowfield Road.
But fears were raised about the journey for the elderly and parents with pushchairs as part of the road leading to the centre has no pavement.
Helen Reed, former chairman of Arborfield and Newland Parish Council, said: “Have they explored all possibilities? If so, well done to Henry Street Garden Centre as it is better than nothing, but have they asked somewhere else like Lockey Farm as there is a pavement?
“If they have said no that is fair enough, but I don’t think they have done anything other than take the easiest option.”
The service was previously provided at Arborfield Stores and then The Swan pub in Eversley Road, but since a change of ownership at the pub the collection point is no longer available.
Dr Ken Ridgway, chairman of Arborfield Over 60s group, said: “There are people who haven’t got transport and to walk to Henry Street when you are elderly is quite dangerous.
“The next nearest place is Lockey Farm Shop or the other possibility is they could arrange something at the village hall.”
Andy Button, Swallowfield Medical Practice manager, said the practice is willing to discuss the possibility of a home delivery service for the over 60s.
He said: “This is a service which the medical practice provides as an additional service to patients because we are rural and not as easily accessible.
“This is something not part of our contract – it costs the partners money because they have to buy and run a car to do this and pay someone to make the deliveries.
“The sadness is people take it for granted and expect more of it than is reasonable.
“There are only a couple of other premises that are open with the set of hours we are looking for, which is the farm shop and the garden centre.
“Although it is a bit further away the road to the farm shop is a much busier road and there are pavement issues with both of them. We felt it was no worse an option to do it at Henry Street.”
From 11am on Monday prescription medication will be available to collect from the garden centre between 9am and 5.30pm Monday to Saturday and between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Sundays. Anyone collecting medication should go to the information desk or one of the tills if the desk is unmanned.