Residents in Warminster have complained to their MP about the service they receive from the town’s remaining two pharmacies.

The complaints follow the closure of the Boots Pharmacy next to The Avenue GP surgery last October which has forced people to go elsewhere to collect prescriptions and a rise in people using pharmacists for medical advice.

Queues and long waiting times are reportedly often common at the Boots Pharmacy in the Market Place and the Bestway Group’s Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket. 

South West Wiltshire MP, Dr Andrew Murrison said: “I have been receiving complaints from residents following the closure of one of Warminster's three pharmacies.

“I have also seen for myself the lunchtime closure of Boots in the high street and disgruntled customers waiting outside.

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Wiltshire Times: People queue outside the Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket in Warminster. Image: Trevor Porter 77027-5People queue outside the Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket in Warminster. Image: Trevor Porter 77027-5 (Image: Trevor Porter 77027-5)

“I wrote to the local Integrated Care Board last month and have been told the new Pharmacy First Service for extending services offered by chemists may have caused pressure on traditional prescription work.

“In his letter, Richard Collinge of the ICB says that the Health and Wellbeing Board will have to decide if its Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment needs updating to facilitate another pharmacy, possibly through a supplementary statement.

“In the meantime, there's apparently nothing to stop a chemist applying to set up a new pharmacy in Warminster.”

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said she has been having difficulty in the last few weeks.

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She said: “I have emailed the NHS and Boots and The Well Pharmacy, and I have emailed our local MP too.

“Today was the final straw for me. Last Friday I had an appointment with my GP, I was prescribed medication to collect.

She continued: “We are now one week on and there is no sign of my medication from The Well Pharmacy. I have tried going to the branch several times but the queues have been ridiculously long.

Wiltshire Times: The notice on the door of the Well Pharmacy in The Cornmarket, Warminster. Image: Trevor Porter 77027-4The notice on the door of the Well Pharmacy in The Cornmarket, Warminster. Image: Trevor Porter 77027-4 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“I have tried calling them but they don’t answer their phone. I have called the head office complaints team but they can’t do anything apart from raise a complaint.

“Today I took a stroll down to town at 2.30pm to try to collect even though I still haven’t had a text to say it’s ready from one week ago."

She said she arrived to find "20 people standing outside" and a sign on the closed pharmacy to say that they were closing between 1.30pm and 3pm to catch up on their workload.

She added: “This store is frequently closed because there is no pharmacist available or they need to leave early.

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“This situation is ridiculous here in Warminster. We have a growing population with lots of new housing being built."

A Well Pharmacy spokesperson has since issued an apology.

They said: "We apologise for the current issues our customers are facing in our Warminster pharmacy, the closure of the nearby Boots pharmacy has meant an increase in customers locally.

"We are working closely with our area manager to support our colleagues and deliver the level of patient care we aspire to.

"To support our patients, we would recommend them to sign up to our text message alerts so we can let them know when their prescriptions are ready to collect to save them time.”

A Boots spokesperson confirmed customers have been facing long delays.

They said: “Customers to the Boots store at Market Place in Warminster have been experiencing longer than usual wait times for prescriptions due to staggered opening times of nearby pharmacies. 

"Our teams are working hard to minimise disruption and provide support to both new and regular patients. We thank customers for bearing with us and being kind to our team members during this time.”