Over 100 residents have signed a petition asking Lincolnshire Co-op not to shut down its pharmacy on Carholme Road, but the supermarket chain said “the service is unviable”.
Customers at Lincolnshire Co-op’s Winning Post Pharmacy, located within store at the petrol station on Carholme Road, received a letter in May and June stating the pharmacy was due to close. Concerned local resident Emile van der Zee launched a petition to try and save the pharmacy from closure on Monday, June 6.
The old West Parade Pharmacy had low numbers of prescriptions and accessibility issues. To make the service more sustainable to the community it moved into the Carholme Road petrol station and food store in March 2017.
The organisation admitted after significant investment it “sadly has not led to making the pharmacy more sustainable”. Bosses said the pharmacy is dispensing less than 2,100 items per month, which is far less than the average branch’s total of 9,900.
An exact date for the closure later this summer has yet to be set, but there will be no job losses or redundancies as employees will be transferred to other branches.
Emile said: “The pharmacy is a lifeline for many local residents and provides excellent services to the local community.
“There is a large and quickly changing student population in the Carholme Ward. If students and other local residents do not shop at the Co-op, they are unlikely to be aware of the existence of this pharmacy. We never received a flyer or anything else to point out its existence.
“We do not only want to keep the pharmacy open, but also make more residents aware of its existence. One of the Co-op’s purposes is to provide health and wellbeing in communities, and one its slogans is “keeping it local”.
“Closing down the pharmacy would go against everything the Co-op stands for. And by making more people aware of the pharmacy, I’m sure they can be persuaded to rethink the closure”.
Less than 40 hours after the petition was launched over 100 concerned residents signed it. Natalie Atkin-Day, who signed the petition, said: “I use this pharmacy because it means I can get my daughter’s epilepsy prescription easily without having to travel but also because the advice I have received in the past had been excellent.”
The petition creator Emile is urging any residents who want to be involved in preventing the closure to email him at [email protected].
He warned that services in the area had already been “eroded” by the loss of the local post office and urged residents to register at the pharmacy before it is lost.
A Lincolnshire Co-op spokesperson told The Lincolnite: “Despite our best efforts, the service is unviable and we have been subsidising it for a number of years. Our average branch dispenses 9,900 items per month and our pharmacy in Carholme Road dispenses much less than this, 2,100 per month.
“A date has not been confirmed, but there are a number of options for patients – they can transfer their prescriptions to our nearby Newland Pharmacy. Our Burton Road Pharmacy may be a good alternative for some residents.
“Our free home delivery service is also available for those who are unable to reach our branches. Patients order prescriptions in the usual way and we will aim to deliver within three working days of receipt from the GP surgery.”