Well Pharmacy in Middle Path will close on October 31st, as it moves from its current site to the space within Crewkerne Health Centre. The move is being instigated following a commercial transaction between the owners of the pharmacy and Day Lewis plc, who manage the Health Centre pharmacy. It is understood that one pharmacist will be made redundant. New opening hours for the pharmacy inside the GP surgery will take effect from November 1st. It will be open on Mondays to Fridays inclusive from 8 am until 8 pm and closed on Saturdays and Sundays and on Bank Holidays.
The Patient Forum was consulted on the revised opening hours, which will see the pharmacy open one hour later and close two and half hours earlier on weekdays and a major reduction on Saturdays from the current advertised opening hours from 0700 hrs to 22.30 hrs, revised to being closed all day. The local patient forum had suggested opening on Saturdays from 9 am until 1 pm. A spokesperson for the Patient Forum at Crewkerne Health Centre said “As the pharmacy within the doctor’s surgery at Middle Path is run separately from Crewkerne Health Centre, we are unable to influence its opening hours but did suggest that it open for four hours on a Saturday.”
As the Government rolls out its final phase of the Electronic Prescription Service across England, paper prescriptions, signed by a doctor are being replaced by digital only prescriptions from November this year. The EPS has been rigorously tested nationally, in a pilot scheme involving 60 GP practices and hundreds of pharmacies and could save the NHS up to £300M by 2021. Primary Care Minister for the Department of Health and Social Care, Jo Churchill said in a statement: “Digitising the entire prescription service is a key part of keeping up the drive to make the NHS fit for the 21st century. This will free up vital time for GPs and allow them to spend more time with their patients and save millions of pounds a year.
“It’s another important step towards eventually making all prescriptions paperless. We are continuing to improve technology across the NHS, which will ultimately improve care for patients.” Under the new scheme, all patients will be given a unique barcode and although they will be asked to nominate a local pharmacy where their prescription can be collected, they will be able to collect a prescription from any pharmacy in the country if and when required as the barcode can be scanned by any pharmacy to download details of the medication required. It will also make it easier for patients on repeat prescriptions as they will be able to collect their medication from their pharmacist for up to a year without needing to see their doctor. Patients who request a paper prescription will still be able to get one but it will be printed with a barcode rather than a GP signature.