Sir Liam Fox MP provides update on actions taken regarding pharmacies in Portishead

Please see below for an update from Sir Liam Fox MP regarding the current situation around pharmacy services in Portishead.

Update from Sir Liam Fox MP:

There seems to be a particular problem in Portishead which is not reflected in other parts of North Somerset, leading to a huge amount of pressure on the pharmacies in Victoria Square and West Hill which is being exacerbated by the closure of Boots. 

I have met with the regional management of Boots and tried to persuade them to stay open. I asked why a town with a population of 26,000 could not support an outlet in a prime location in the town.  They told me that this was not primarily a rationalisation of their pharmacy business, but that the performance of the store had been reducing for a number of years, especially post-Covid. At least part of this is due to the increase in online shopping which has made a number of other marketing lines less profitable to stock. 

My own view is that given the size of the population of the town, it would have made sense to improve the pharmacy services thereby creating more competition in the town and more potential revenue for Boots, but it seems that their minds are set on closure.

I have written to the ICB to see if current regulations would permit local GP practices to become dispensing practices if they wished to do so and will let you know the outcome of these discussions.