Two pharmacies in Rotherham are set to merge into one, if plans are approved by NHS England.
Weldricks Pharmacy has applied to merge its two Swinton branches, on Church Street and the Crown Street Surgery.
If approved, the branch on Church Street will be modernized, and additional consulting rooms will be added, while the Crown Street site will be closed.
Rotherham Met Borough Council’s health and wellbeing board are set to make a representation supporting the plans, and say that analysis by public health “outlines the very minimal impact that this change will have in terms of pharmacy access in the borough based on the service offer, opening hours and walking times to this branch and the main pharmacy.”
They say the current opening hours will remain the same, and there will be no disruption to services during the consolidation.
A statement from Weldricks adds that the decision to merge is down to funding cuts, and the company could go out of business if operating costs are not reduced – ‘despite having been a local, family-owned business for almost 100 years’.
“We have, of course, resisted closing any of our pharmacies, taking alternative steps to reduce our costs but we have now run out of ways in which we can reduce costs and so we are now faced with the decisions, such as merging pharmacies to protect these vital services in the community,” it adds.
“Having spent nearly 100 years growing this family business to the size it is now, it is with deep regret that we are having to consider this action in Swinton.”
(By Danielle Andrews, Local Democracy Reporting Service)