Residents' fears over pharmacy shortage

CONCERNED residents in a rural Suffolk town have been unable to access prescriptions due to staff shortages at their local chemist.Customers of the Lloyds Pharmacy in Leiston have been left frustrated on a number of occasions when there has been no pharmacist on duty at the High Street shop.

CONCERNED residents in a rural Suffolk town have been unable to access prescriptions due to staff shortages at their local chemist.

Customers of the Lloyds Pharmacy in Leiston have been left frustrated on a number of occasions when there has been no pharmacist on duty at the High Street shop.

As a result, the elderly and sick have had to travel to Aldeburgh, Woodbridge, Saxmundham or even Ipswich to get their medication.

Sandra Mackissack, of Eastward Ho, Leiston, said: “There's been no pharmacist there and a relative of mine had to go to Ipswich because she couldn't get her son's inhaler.


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“With different bugs going around at this time of year it's diabolical and it's the elderly and the children I feel for.”

She added: “One of these days someone's going to need medication from there in an emergency and a car trip isn't going to be quick enough.”

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Mrs Mackissack said there was no pattern as to when the pharmacist is not there to dispense medication.

She said: “There's no warning and you go in and you just get told that you can't have your prescription because there's no-one there who is qualified to dispense it.”

The matter has been raised with Leiston Town Council, which is planning to contact the company to find a resolution to the problem.

Cllr Colin Ginger said: “It's causing a lot of frustration and confusion and it's hard for old people to go out to other towns if they are frail.

“I don't know why it's happening but we are talking about making arrangements and putting notices on doors because there's been no pre-warning.”

He said it was also a concern because the chemist works in conjunction with Leiston Surgery where the pharmacy picks up repeat prescriptions for customers but they cannot retrieve their medication if the pharmacist is not on duty.

David Dufty, east Suffolk spokesperson for Patient and Public Involvement in Health Forum, said: “It's a very serious loss of service and it's up to Lloyds to find a pharmacist as soon as possible.”

Nick Mortimer, superintendent pharmacist for Lloyds, said: “We would like to apologise for the problems experienced recently at our pharmacy in Leiston, which have arisen because of staff sickness and the difficulties of finding a replacement pharmacist at short notice in such a rural location.

“We are very aware of the issue and are working hard to resolve it.”

kate.scotter@eadt.co.uk

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