This is not unexpected news. Brown and Francis is too small a store to thrive in an age where pharmacies are underfunded by government and the range of services pharmacies must provide is increasing. A 30% cut in NHS funding in real terms has led to the closure of 1,400 pharmacies in England since 2015. MPs, including Helen Morgan MP, have protested in a letter to the government but to no avail.

Ludlow’s three pharmacies handle around 21,000 prescriptions a year, down from 23,000 a year and a half ago. That drop will be down to more patients ordering their prescription through an online delivery service.

All Brown and Francis (Peak) patients will be transferred to Lunts though they can as always elect to go elsewhere.

It is disappointing that another prominent high street shop in Ludlow is closing. Many people are fond of Brown and Francis which issues around 6,000 prescriptions a month. People get used to their local pharmacy and trust the pharmacist and front of house staff.

Despite this, it makes sense to consolidate pharmacies in Ludlow to ensure that two survive in tough times in the dispensing business.

What worries me much more is that Boots, now owned by Walgreen Boots Alliance based in Illinois, may eventually close. Walgreen Boots is tough on pharmacies meeting its performance targets. It is already planning to close more than 300 Boots branches this year. That bodes ill for smaller Boots pharmacies. Just one pharmacy in Ludlow will reduce choice and will not be in the best interests of patients.

There is a separate issue of supply chain problems with some medicines. There are many factors behind this including Brexit and the NHS deal with manufacturers to reduce drug prices, which has had the perverse incentive of encouraging companies to sell outside the UK where they can get a higher price.

Statement from Lunts and Peak pharmacies

Issued on behalf of the MSN & Lunts Pharmacy Group, with the support of Peak Pharmacy:

We are aware of recent comments regarding the merging of Peak Pharmacy and Lunts Pharmacy in Ludlow, and we are sharing the following information to help everyone fully understand the situation.

Peak Pharmacy will be selling its Ludlow pharmacy at 49 Bull Ring to Lunts, which will merge with the existing Lunts pharmacy at 116-119 Lower Galdeford. This decision has not been taken lightly, but the changing role of Community Pharmacy and wider financial pressures mean that the Bull Ring site is no longer viable or fit for purpose.

The merger of the two sites is designed to ensure that there WILL continue to be a pharmacy service within this area.

While still providing medication, Community Pharmacy nationally is evolving to deliver a wider range of services, under the requirements of our contract with NHS England. Through the Pharmacy First scheme, we are now supporting patients with minor ailments that would have previously required a GP appointment. Pharmacies’ premises need to adapt as a result. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the building, the Peak Pharmacy Bull Ring site cannot viably be altered to support the people of Ludlow in this way. However, the Lunts Lower Galdeford Pharmacy site is undergoing a refit to create two clinical consultation rooms and a larger, lighter state-of-the-art dispensary. This will also provide a better working environment for the staff.

We are happy to confirm that the current Peak Pharmacy staff will be transferred to our site, Lunts Pharmacy, along with all customer details. Current patients do not need to do anything other than access the new site. Any patient will be free to move to another pharmacy if they wish. However, we are confident that with the combined skill set of our teams, we will continue to offer an excellent service. Future plans include a 24-hour collection point for patient medication, for those who are unable to access the pharmacy during opening hours. In addition, the current delivery service offered by Peak Pharmacy will still be in operation for those who need it.

The MSN & Lunts Pharmacy group will continue to provide the high-quality, personal, efficient, and forward-thinking pharmaceutical service that you deserve. The pressures faced in the past for pharmacy provision in Ludlow were simply due to the lack of pharmacists.

Across the MSN & Lunts Pharmacy group, we are proud to say that we have never once had to close our doors to customers and have continued to provide a pharmaceutical service that our customers deserve. We are continually working on innovative ideas to enable us to provide the best, most efficient service.

We hope that this explanation offers you some reassurance, despite the extremely challenging environment Community Pharmacy in England is operating in. We would ask that you support the case for better funding, and with the backing of our local councils and MPs, we can work on changing things for the future to avoid further closures and sales within the sector. Without an increase in income, the costs have not been offset. You will already be aware of the entire sale/closure of some 1,200 Lloyds pharmacies within the sector, as well as Boots’ intention to close 300+ pharmacies in 2024. These measures highlight the difficult times we’re experiencing and show that no one is immune.

Please continue to support your High Street Pharmacies

One thought on “Brown and Francis (Peak) pharmacy will be taken over by Lunts”
  1. Oh, great. The recent break in, and then the opening of Savers, can’t have helped, though mainly I blame this government. Another independent gone, another empty shop in the town centre, less customer choice and more pressure on the public to depend on the multiples. Makes one want to weep.

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