DISSATISFIED pharmacy customers in Wotton under Edge are set to see an improvement in service.

Customers have been complaining of unacceptable queuing times, prescription backlogs and regular medicine shortages at LloydsPharmacy on Long Street.

Dr Mark Porter, who is a partner at the town's Culverhay surgery, tweeted about the situation in November, saying: “LloydsPharmacy, good TV ad. But please put the idea into practice and sort out Wotton under Edge pharmacy and make it the asset our community needs.

"Must have had 10 complaints today from patients.

“Your pharmacy should be a key part / leader in our local primary care service, but it is failing."

Cllr Ken Tucker, Lib Dem district councillor, Wotton Ward, decided to take the matter into his own hands, and wrote to the head of Lloyds.

He said: “Due to the large number of complaints from local residents, along with my own poor experiences, I wrote to Toby Anderson, chief executive, Celecio, the company which own LloydsPharmacy.

“In my letter I complained of staff shortages, highlighted the fact that we not had a dedicated pharmacist for many months and that locums had occasionally not arrived until 90 minutes after opening.

“Also that there was no dedicated manager, customers were experiencing regular medicine shortages and that queuing times and prescription backlogs were unacceptable.

“Equally, I emphasised to Mr Anderton that all the staff were doing their very best under the clearly difficult circumstances they were working in.”

The Gazette understands that a meeting was held between representatives of LloydsPharmacy, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, which oversees the pharmaceutical provision in the county, and the town’s doctors, to review the concerns and complaints.

Cllr Tucker said: “On receipt of my letter, LloydsPharmacy immediately phoned me and followed up with an acknowledgement, adding that the regional manager would be in contact, which he was.

"A meeting was subsequently arranged at the pharmacy and we went through the problems that residents were experiencing.

“LloydsPharmacy have clearly taken the complaints very seriously and they responded further with details of the steps being taken to return the store ‘to the heart of the community’.

“I was pleased to hear that a replacement dispenser has been transferred from another local branch and that a store-based manager will be onsite five days a week, with area managers visiting the pharmacy bi-weekly until the end of January to ensure that progress is being made.

“I understand that a permanent pharmacist will join the staff this month.

“It was explained to me that medicine shortages were being experienced nationwide and were mainly linked to pharmaceutical provision difficulties linked to Brexit."

A further meeting with LloydsPharmacy is planned for the end of January to review progress.

Cllr Tucker added: “It is disappointing that the service at our local LloydsPharmacy was allowed to become totally unacceptable.

“Improvements will not happen overnight, but as long as the promises are delivered, then I am confident that residents will see improvements very quickly."

A spokesman for LloydsPharmacy said: "We appreciate customers’ patience while we improve our service at our Wotton under Edge store, our priority is to make sure that our patients and customers feel suitably informed and listened to.

"There is another meeting with the NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and the town's doctors scheduled for the end of January when our representatives will be providing an update."