Councillor Kevin Small is worried about the potential closure of a Rowlands branch in Rodbourne Road, Swindon. Photo: LDRS

By Aled Thomas, Local Democracy Reporter

Swindon Borough Council has decided to write to NHS England asking it to keep a branch of Rowlands Pharmacy open.

Members of the council voted unanimously to support the motion by Mannington and Western councillor Kevin Small to commit the authority to supporting retention of the pharmacy on Rodbourne Road.

Rowlands which runs the branch want to close it and relocate its services to the Park Lane branch, about half a mile away.

Councillor Small said: ”Closure of the pharmacy in Rodbourne Road will have an impact on the residents.

“Many people will find it difficult to get to park lane.

“We also hear a lot these days, quite rightly, about people using pharmacies more to relieve the pressure on GP’s practices. Closing this branch will not help.

“For people from Rodbourne, they’d have to go past the Park Lane GP’s surgery to get to the pharmacy about three doors down. There would be no point in going to the pharmacy instead and they will go to the doctor and that will not help the pressure on GP’s services.”

Council leader David Renard said: “I support Councillor Small’s endeavours to keep this pharmacy open and fully support his words on what pharmacies can do. Prevention keeps people out of hospital and acute settings and pharmacies have a vital role to play.”

The decision on the branch is being considered by NHS England.

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