Closure angers Melton patients

Latham House Medical Practice EMN-161213-150418001
Latham House Medical Practice EMN-161213-150418001

Patients who have been frustrated by the closure of the pharmacy at Latham House Medical Practice have been assured it is not a permanent situation.

People have been arriving to pick up prescriptions in recent weeks to find that the drugs dispensary department is closed between 12 noon and 3pm.

The surgery, the biggest single group GP practice in the country, say it has had to take the measure because of staff sickness.

The pharmacy is likely to be closed between those hours, it said, until after New Year at least.

A Melton woman, who declined to be named, said she went to pick up a prescription to find a sign saying ‘closed 12pm-3pm’.

She said: “This is most inconvenient to a lot of people I should imagine.

“Surely there are enough staff to cover lunch breaks?

“Three hours is about a third of their day.”

Patients can nominate an alternative pharmacy in town to pick up prescriptions from.

But the woman said there were often issues with the drugs not arriving at the other pharmacy and staff there would not be able to check where they were when the Latham House pharmacy was closed.

Practice manager Alison Hipkin said: “We have had to close the pharmacy between those hours because of increasing staff sickness.

“We have no intention of making this permanent.

“If the situation continues we will consult fully with our Patient Reference Group on what to do next.”

Mrs Hipkin said Latham House did liaise closely with other pharmacies in the town and had recently appointed a clinical pharmacist to help with this.

She added: “I am sorry for those patients who arrive to find the pharmacy closed but there are a variety of ways they can pick up prescriptions.”