24/7 pharmacy will be the first in UK

SPALDING’S West Elloe Pharmacy is expanding by opening a new community pharmacy in Pinchbeck and launching the country’s first-ever automated service so people can collect prescribed medicines round the clock, 365 days a year.

Lincolnshire’s Primary Care Trust has reclassified Pinchbeck from rural to urban – which means from August 15 villagers can no longer pick up prescribed medicines from GP surgeries.

West Elloe Pharmacy will step into the breach by opening a pharmacy at 22 Knight Street towards the end of July.

The business already employs 21 people and three or four more are likely to be appointed with the opening of the new premises.

Pharmacy director and superintendent pharmacist Ryszard Cygan said: “People have been very positive about the new pharmacy. We have had some very good feedback.”

Mr Cygan says the planned 24 hour prescription collection service will be the first of its kind in the country and it is due to open at the end of this month or the beginning of next month.

People working unusual hours will be among those benefiting from the 24-hour dispensing service via a cashpoint-style machine.

Customers will be sent PIN numbers so they can collect medicines that have already been dispensed by pharmacists.

West Elloe Pharmacy will be working closely with Beechfield Medical Centre, Munro Medical Centre, Gosberton Medical Centre, Pennygate Surgery and Moulton Medical Centre – and it will be able to collect prescriptions from those surgeries and have medicines ready for collection from West Elloe Avenue and Knight Street when it opens.

All patients will also have a choice of collecting their medicines or having them delivered to their homes free of charge.

The pharmacy also operates what it calls an A-Z service where it can keep a patient’s repeat slip, contact their GP when their next prescription is due, dispense the medication and then send a text message when it’s ready for collection or delivery.