York’s Labour Group have called on City of York Council to co-operate closely with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to deliver prescriptions to people who need them in York. A similar scheme is already in place across North Yorkshire, and the offer has been made to extend this to York. Under the scheme, firefighters would collect prescriptions and deliver them free of charge.
Councillor Danny Myers, leader of the Labour Group, stated that over the past weeks there have been regular queues of people collecting prescriptions at pharmacies. Despite the efforts of staff in pharmacies, there is unprecedented demand being placed on the workforce and affecting those who need prescriptions.
“I’m calling for City of York Council to urgently take up the offer of help from our local firefighters to collect prescriptions,” said Cllr Myers. “There is critical need in our communities and yet, not enough people know about this service.
“There have been no leaflets or letters from the Council to residents in the Clifton area, which means that vulnerable residents and those not on the internet are unaware of the help that is available. We urgently need this sorting out. There are vulnerable people and those in ‘at-risk’ groups among those that are queuing for two hours or more on the pavements outside Boots Pharmacy in Clifton. People are walking past the queues on the pavement and therefore unable to properly ‘social distance’. This is an avoidable risk I am urging the Council to sort out immediately.
“I have written to the Chief Fire Officer of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, to thank him for the offer of help from local firefighters. I have also put him in direct contact with the City of York Council’s Deputy Chief Executive and hope a solution can be found as a matter of urgency.”
Steve Howley, Brigade Secretary of North Yorkshire Fire Brigades Union said: “Early in this crisis our members realised there would be ways we could further support the most vulnerable. Last week on behalf of our members we signed an agreement with North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) to work alongside pharmacies delivering prescriptions to those who need it most. I understand that pharmacies in York have now been contacted by NYFRS and I will be following up with the Chief Fire Officer regarding the uptake and progress.”