Steps will be taken to secure another pharmacy in Warminster after residents complained about long waiting times at the town’s two remaining pharmacies, Warminster Town Council has confirmed.

Councillors have decided to take action after many complaints from people who have reportedly spent a significant amount of time queuing to collect their prescriptions and receiving a poor service.

As a result, the council will write to the chief executive of the Integrated Care Board to make them aware of the crisis in Warminster and request they take urgent steps to secure another pharmacy to meet the needs of residents.

READ MORE: Residents in Warminster complain about queues for prescriptions

Wiltshire Times: Residents in Warminster have complained to their MP about the service they receive from the

Complaints included prescription not being ready, medicine not being available and not having a pharmacist on duty to sign off prescriptions. 

Warminster currently only has two pharmacies – Boots Pharmacy in the Market Place and the Bestway Group’s Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket – after Boots Pharmacy next to The Avenue GP surgery closed in October 2023.

Cllr 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.”

At a full council meeting held on Monday, May 13, councillors also raised concerns that the demographics of the town and the growing population had not been considered following the closure of Boots Pharmacy last year and many residents said they were struggling to get into the town centre to pick up their prescriptions. 

Additionally, councillors will write to Sebastian James, CEO Boots UK, to ensure he is also aware of the demand and request more resources, so it is easier for people to collect their medication when they need it. 

A Boots spokesperson 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.”

Well Pharmacy has also issued an apology.

A spokesperson 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.

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"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.”

The news comes after the Times reported residents in Warminster have complained to their MP about the service they receive.

South West Wiltshire MP, Dr Andrew Murrison previously 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.

“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."