Shailesh Vara MP visited J W Anderson Pharmacy in Somersham, Huntingdonshire to see the vital services they are offering to support the local community during the current pandemic.
Community pharmacies in North West Cambridgeshire have been a lifeline for many throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, remaining open and working tirelessly to ensure the public have face to face healthcare support available, as well as access to their medicines.
Mr Vara visited J W Anderson and met with the owner and pharmacist Mr Tushar Patel along with Rita Bali of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Local Pharmaceutical Committee (LPC) to see the healthcare services that are available within the pharmacy and how they have supported local residents at this time of need.
With winter fast approaching, flu will be circulating alongside COVID-19 and community pharmacies including J W Anderson are offering the seasonal flu vaccine free of charge to those who are eligible through the NHS, which include over 65s, those with certain health conditions, as well as pregnant women.
Mr Vara fully supports the annual flu programme which helps protect people at risk of flu and its complications and was pleased to have a flu vaccination during the visit to ensure he is protected for the months ahead.
Following the visit Mr Vara said:
“Winter is always a difficult time of year for health services and this year will be especially difficult.
Community pharmacies such as J W Anderson in Somersham have been a wonderful support to our local communities throughout the outbreak and we are very grateful for the support they have given to many during this time.
It is reassuring to know that these vital services will remain available for patients as we head into the winter months and I would encourage anyone who is eligible for the flu vaccination to go and get it done.”
Rita Bali, Executive Officer at Cambridgeshire & Peterborough LPC added:
“It was great to meet Shailesh today and talk to him about the brilliant work that our community pharmacies carry out on a day-to-day basis and to see him directly benefit from one of the many services they offer; the flu jab.
Community pharmacies have remained open throughout the lockdown period providing a vital face-to-face healthcare service and reassurance to local people. More and more people now use their local pharmacy for a range of healthcare services such as vaccinations, stop smoking support and weight loss advice and we appreciate Shailesh’s recognition of the important role pharmacies play in the delivery of such services.”
Tushar Patel of JW Anderson commented:
“We were very pleased to welcome Shailesh into our pharmacy and give him his flu vaccination for this winter. We welcomed the opportunity to talk to him about our experiences of working during the difficult pandemic period and how we and other local community pharmacists have adapted in order to ensure our patients are still able to access their medicines and healthcare advice.
Community pharmacies are highly valued by our communities and we have the clinical experience and knowledge to deliver a wide variety of additional NHS services.”
Photos: 1, from left to right: Rita Bali, Shailesh Vara MP and Tushar Patel, 2, from left to right: Tushar Patel and Shailesh Vara MP