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No Magic Pill 30 Jul 2022 Eynsham News editor Ellie reports on the situation at Lloyds Pharmacy for our latest issue - coming to your letterbox soon!

We are lucky to still have our own pharmacy in the village even if you may have experienced some difficulties getting your medicines at times since the pandemic started. There is often some venting of frustration about Lloyds on social media but also a lot of support for the hard-working pharmacists and assistants doing their best under testing circumstances. We wanted to find out a bit more about the difficulties they're facing so we approached Lloyds Pharmacy head office for comment and their spokesperson said:

‘Our priority is to provide the best possible service and care to our customers and patients. We are actively recruiting for a full-time pharmacist at our Eynsham pharmacy but recruiting new pharmacists and pharmacy teams has become increasingly difficult; there is a sector-wide shortage of pharmacists, and the profession is listed on the Home Office’s Shortage Occupation List.

‘Legally a pharmacist must be present in the pharmacy for it to open and to give patients their prescriptions. Therefore, at times when a locum pharmacist can't be sourced in times of sickness and absence, our last resort is to temporarily close. The workforce challenges, which are not unique to Lloyds Pharmacy, are impacting our service levels and have resulted in patients waiting longer than normal. We are working together with other community pharmacy operators and the NHS to address the sector-wide workforce challenges.

‘Our Regional Manager has met with local councillors to listen to the concerns of the community. We are working hard to clear the backlog and are deploying colleagues from other branches to manage the workload safely to improve the service in Eynsham and return to the high standards we strive to achieve. We deeply apologise for the impact on the community and appreciate their understanding at this time.’

In the interest of the local community, the Parish Council met­ with Lloyds, along with District Councillor Andy Goodwin and Eynsham Medical Centre in June to develop some solutions to tackle the issues. The notes from the meeting, which residents may find insightful, can be downloaded from the Council website: bit.ly/3AH2GLQ. While many of the actions will be handled by the healthcare professionals and their teams, the Council has offered to help the local Lloyds Pharmacy team create a Facebook page where weekly updates and helpful information will be shared. It’s hoped that this will keep residents informed about the situation at the pharmacy and enable them to plan their visit accordingly.

The Council will also arrange a second meeting with all representatives, to assess progress and consider how to provide further help to remedy some of the challenges. Eynsham News will keep you updated with any progress as the situation continues.


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