NHS: Local chemists at risk

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I have recently been contacted by a warehouse pharmacy firm who make up repeat prescriptions using the electronic prescription service.

These firms operate in large premises with vast numbers of staff carrying out the “bread and butter” work which our local pharmacies rely on.

As far as I know, they are paid the same fee by the NHS for this work as the local high street chemist.

If such large firms cream off the easier work from our local pharmacies, it will put more pressure on the others, and especially on rural ones.

Who will be there for us when we need urgent antibiotics or other medicines?

Your local pharmacy may well have closed having lost business to these new entrants who are only interested in the repeat business.

In rural areas such as Rothbury our nearest pharmacy if our local one were to close is Alnwick, some 10 miles away and it is a lot further for those farther up the valley who recently lost their pharmacy in Harbottle.

These new services may seem attractive, but you can order on-line and still get your prescription locally (or from any other shop-based pharmacy of your choice). They will deliver if you are frail or housebound too. And they are the ones who know us and who can give advice if we need it about our medications.

Please think very carefully before you sign up for these new services: they are likely to harm our high street chemists.

Chris Butterworth,

Great Gable Cottage,

Wagtail Road,

Rothbury