Patients reassured on pharmacy closure

The Thomas Linacre outpatients' centre
The Thomas Linacre outpatients' centre

The pharmacy at Wigan’s outpatient department is being considered for closure.

A consultation has been launched for the public and other interested parties to consider the option.

But health chiefs are reassuring patients and their relatives that if they were to press ahead with the plan, they wouldn’t be left having to make long-distance journeys for medication.

The first the Observer heard of the plan was when it was contacted by a local couple last week.

The husband, who is receiving specialist treatment for cancer, had been told that the pharmacy at the Thomas Linacre Centre on Parson’s Walk was due to shut and that from then on he would have to go to The Christie in Withington for his drugs.

But Wrightington Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust says that this would not be the case and it is even possible that the patient would receive home deliveries of the medication instead.

A spokesman said: “WWL’s Pharmacy Service is currently run from three sites. These are Wigan, Wrightington and the Thomas Linacre Centre (TLC). These are provided on a Monday to Friday basis at all sites with additional weekend dispensing and clinical services provided on the Wigan site.

“The trust is entering a period of consultation which will run until May 13 and will be used to fully understand and address any concerns or issues raised.

“The internal consultation may result in the closure of the TLC Pharmacy. If the closure of the TLC Pharmacy is agreed, services will be provided in a different way.

“For example, patients will be able to take their prescriptions to a local pharmacy of their choice, which may be more convenient to them.

“Vulnerable or frail patients will be able to have their prescriptions dispensed either at the Wigan Pharmacy or via a local pharmacy, with home delivery arranged at a convenient time for them.

“A new clinical and supply service will be provided for our cancer patients. This will be provided from the clinic at the TLC. No cancer patient will have to travel to The Christie to collect medication from a prescription raised at TLC.

“Patient safety will always remain our primary concern.”