This site is intended for health professionals only

ICB urged to step in amid pharmacy in ‘crisis’

ICB urged to step in amid pharmacy in ‘crisis’
By Megan Ford
21 May 2024

An ICB has been asked to take ‘urgent steps’ to secure another pharmacy in the town of Warminster amid concerns over provision.

Warminster Town councillors have called on the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB to address what they have described as a pharmacy ‘crisis’ in the area.

The move follows concerns that patients are spending a ‘significant time’ queuing for prescriptions and that both medicines and pharmacists are not always available.

Warminster currently has two pharmacies, Boots Pharmacy in the Market Place and the Bestway Group’s Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket.

A separate Boots Pharmacy, which was next to a GP surgery, closed in October 2023.

Councillors said the demographics of the area had not been ‘fully considered’ after the closure of this pharmacy, and that it could be difficult for members of the public to get to the other pharmacies in the town centre.

The council outlined its plans to write to the chief executive of the ICB to ‘ensure that they understand the current crisis in Warminster, to request that the ICB step in to resolve the current situation and take urgent steps to secure another pharmacy to meet the undoubted local need’.

It will also write to the chief executive of Boots UK, Sebastian James, to ‘make him aware of the current issue with pharmacy provision in Warminster and request additional resources to resolve the current situation’.

Councillor Steve Jeffries said: ‘Having been personally affected by the significant lack of pharmacy provision in the town, this is why I took the opportunity over the last couple of months to speak with many townsfolk who had to stand queuing both in Boots and Well Pharmacies.

‘For people with mobility issues, it is unacceptable to have to queue for up to an hour or more simply to collect their prescriptions, especially where other providers are interested in opening an additional pharmacy.

‘This is why I have asked town council to take positive action and try to help alleviate the current situation.’

This comes amid ongoing concerns over the rate of pharmacy closures across the country, with latest analysis from the National Pharmacy Association suggesting as many as 10 pharmacies close every week.

The Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire ICB and Boots UK were approached for comment.

A version of this story was first published on our sister title The Pharmacist.

Want news like this straight to your inbox?

Related articles