A Warminster man has warned that patients’ lives are being put at risk because of the growing queues to collect prescriptions at the Well Pharmacy.

Queues outside Warminster’s two pharmacies – Boots in the Market Place and the Well Pharmacy in the Cornmarket – have lengthened in recent weeks.

When Boots closed its pharmacy next to the GP Surgery in The Avenue last October it put added pressure on the town’s two remaining pharmacy outlets.

John Busby said the queues outside the Cornmarket pharmacy outlet are getting longer as people wait to collect items.

Mr Busby told David Reeves, chair of Health and Wellbeing in Warminster: “The situation is dire. The queues are intolerable.

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This Is Wiltshire: The queues at the Well Pharmacy store are getting longer and lives could be at risk, claims one man. Photo: Trevor Porter 77027-3The queues at the Well Pharmacy store are getting longer and lives could be at risk, claims one man. Photo: Trevor Porter 77027-3 (Image: Trevor Porter)

“I do not wish to be the prophet of doom but I am going to predict that before this matter is resolved, there is a very serious possibility of a citizen or citizens losing their life.

“You can have advisory boards and committee meetings but you cannot position them above human life; haven’t we learnt anything, witness the Post Office scandal.

“We must get back to life’s fundamentals: we must place human life at the core of our daily being, not profit motive. The system is broken and I do not expect the July 4 result to change anything.

“I am talking about now- not the future with housing development leading to greater strain on all local facilities. I regret this is not the time for patience.”

Mr Busby said the situation in Warminster is “rapidly deteriorating”.

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The central service in Wiltshire, called Prescription Ordering Direct, is also due to close at the end of June.

Patients of The Avenue GP Surgery had their orders terminated on Monday, May 6 – meaning they have had to wait for prescriptions and queue to collect them.

Since the closure of the second Boots pharmacy, the Well Pharmacy and the Boots pharmacy in the Market Place have been overwhelmed.

Mr Busby said that on Wednesday, June 5, he counted 31 people queuing inside and outside the Well Pharmacy store.

"One person had driven from Northampton to pick up his mother's prescription and another member of staff left yesterday."

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In a message addressed to the Warminster community, the regional manager for the pharmacy, said: "I want to express our understanding for the frustration and inconvenience this situation has caused.

"Until recently, Warminster was served by two Boots outlets and our Well Pharmacy, which, although busy, managed to serve the community effectively.

"The sudden closure of one of these pharmacies has led to overwhelming demand on the remaining Boots and our Well Pharmacy, resulting in longer wait times and more crowded conditions.

"We are committed to supporting our team at Well Pharmacy as they navigate this challenging period.

"Our primary concern is to continue providing essential pharmacy services to the community without compromising on quality and safety.

"This includes dispensing medications, offering health consultations, and providing other critical services."

They also said that a sudden increase in demand has stretched the pharmacy's resources, adding: "Pharmacies are predominantly funded by the NHS, with over 90 per cent of our revenue coming from the Department of Health and Social Care.

"Unfortunately, funding levels have not increased since 2016, despite rising demand, inflationary pressures, and increases in the national living wage."

The message concludes: "We kindly ask for your patience and understanding during this time. Our hardworking colleagues at Well Pharmacy are doing their utmost to serve you, and your support means a great deal to us."