Only pharmacy in Newsham area of Blyth will close next year as part of Boots closures across the UK
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The Plessey Road pharmacy will close in January 2024 and is one of around 300 such closures across the UK.
The next nearest pharmacy is over 30 minutes walk away, meaning many residents will have to drive or use public transport in order to speak to a pharmacist.
This follows Boots’ closure of their pharmacy within Blyth Health Centre on October 14.
Ian Levy, MP for Blyth Valley, said: “Constituents in Newsham and the surrounding areas have been raising their concerns about the closure of the Boots branch on Plessey Road and so I took it up with the senior vice president of Boots UK.
“My particular concern was the distance some people will now have to travel for prescriptions. Pharmacies are an essential local service.
“I have had a disappointing response confirming they plan to go ahead with the closure in January. This is one of around 300 planned closures and the staff will be deployed elsewhere.
“Boots recommend customers go to their stores on Maddison Street and Waterloo Road, which I realise will not be easy for everybody. I will keep monitoring the situation as these unwanted changes happen.”
Boots did not confirm if other branches in Northumberland were safe from closure.
In his response to Mr Levy, Boots senior vice president and UK managing director Sebastian James said the changes will allow the company to “concentrate our workforce, notably pharmacists, more efficiently.”
He said: “We recognise that local customers in Newsham are disappointed but the closures have not been taken lightly, and your constituents will be able to access pharmacy services at the nearby Boots stores in Blyth.”
The company is planning to work with local GP surgeries to inform patients of the closure and transfer their repeat prescriptions elsewhere.
Mr James added: “We will also keep resource and property requirements in our Blyth stores under review to ensure that they are equipped to manage the demand and dispensing workload as patient care is transferred.
“Please be assured that Boots remains committed to supporting the local community in Newsham and continuing to deliver high standards of service to all our customers and patients in Blyth.”