Anger after emergency chemist closed

A CONFUSED customer has today told how he was left waiting outside an emergency chemists for nearly an hour before discovering it was not going to open.

A CONFUSED customer has today told how he was left waiting outside an emergency chemists for nearly an hour before discovering it was not going to open.

Patients from across Ipswich travelled to Lloyds Pharmacy on Hawthorne Drive , as it was one of two chemists in the town that was due be open to make up emergency prescriptions, only to find the doors closed.

Alan Gates, of Britannia Road, went to pick up medication for his friend's 90-year-old mother who lives in the Chantry area on Easter Sunday.

He said: “It was due to open at 12pm but no-one turned up and there were no signs in the window explaining they would not be opening.


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“There must have been around 15 people in the queue behind me and one person had even got a taxi all the way there.

“There was no explanation as to why they did not bother to open.”

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Mr Gates eventually went to the out-of-hours doctors service at the Riverside Clinic to pick up the antibiotics but said it caused a lot of unnecessary disruption.

He said: “It seems ridiculous to only have two chemists open.

“I don't have my own car and by the time we realised it was not going to open there was no way I could have got all the way across town before the other one shut.”

Nick Mortimer, head pharmacist for Lloyds, said: “We unreservedly apologise for the fact our pharmacy in Hawthorne Drive did not open as it should have done.

“Honouring our rota commitments nationally is something we take extremely seriously and it is a matter of deep regret that on this occasion we failed to do so.

“Unfortunately, there is a nationwide shortage of pharmacists working in the community pharmacy sector and despite extensive efforts we were unable to roster a pharmacist on Sunday.”

A spokesman for the east Suffolk Primary Care Trusts, who are responsible for pharmacists in the area, said: “The PCT was very concerned to hear about this situation.

“As far as we can remember, this is the first time such a problem has occurred.

“Rotas are issued in November/December for the following calendar year, so all pharmacies are fully aware of their responsibilities in good time. We are discussing the situation with the pharmacy.”

Were you affected by this closure? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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