The Summerhill Pharmacy in Ramsgate will shut its doors for good on Saturday (February 1).
Customers of the pharmacy in Margate Road have received text messages informing them of the closure and need to redirect any repeat prescription orders.
A notice at the pharmacy says; “We are very sorry to announce the closure of Summerhill Pharmacy. Government cutbacks mean that we, along with Boots, Lloyds and others, can o longer afford to run some stores and we have no option but to close permanently.”
The pharmacy is run by the Manor Pharmacy Group, which also owns Pierremont Pharmacy in Broadstairs and Newington Pharmacy.
Pharmacy group director Graham Phillips said: “Despite government promises, GP surgeries are shutting at an ever-increasing rate. This is partly about finance but mainly because GPs are stressed, over-worked and demoralised. Many are taking early retirement and there’s a recruitment crisis. We are circa 16,000 GPs short
“Now, community pharmacy can take a lot of pressure off GPs -approximately 30% of workload – and hospitals -8% of A&E visits alone.
“In Scotland, Ireland and Wales, the respective NHS’ organisations are investing in community pharmacies to reduce pressure on the system
“However, in England the NHS wants to force 3000 local pharmacies, such as mine, to close. This is being done by means of indiscriminate financial attrition. We are not protected despite the numerous awards we have won and the incredibly high satisfaction our patients have in our services.
“Of the three largest multiples, Lloyds closed 200 branches (with more to come), Boots plan to close at least 200 and Rowlands around 100. What hope it there for the little guys like me?
“So, despite the fact that Summerhill Pharmacy is the only pharmacy in the area, and despite the exceptional service we offer (the Summerhill community is a high-need community), and despite the fact we are open 100 hours per week to serve people, the pharmacy is losing money every month. We simply cannot sustain the loss. We have to close.
“The only good news is that we have invested heavily in our Newington branch which is the closest nearby pharmacy to Summerhill.
“We will do our very best to support our patients and local GPs from Newington pharmacy, or Pierremont pharmacy if appropriate.”
Mr Phillips said the Newington pharmacy now has extended the opening hours, extra staff and resident pharmacist and Independent Prescriber Peter Goldsmith. There is a free prescription collection and delivery to all residents.
Find details at www.newington-pharmacy.co.uk