Saturday scrapped as in-demand Rugby pharmacy opts for five-day opening

It was under huge pressure at the height of the pandemic with the queues outside a regular feature of life in those times.
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But now Bilton Pharmacy has announced it is scrapping Saturday opening after the first weekend of April, leaving customers with just Monday to Friday to visit and sort out their prescriptions.

The business was taken over by Avicenna two years ago as part of a deal that saw it buy all the former Dudley Taylor Pharmacies.

With the rapid growth of housing in the area, queuing became the new norm during covid as staff battled to keep up with demand.

Bilton Pharmacy at The Green in Bilton. Photo: Google Street View.Bilton Pharmacy at The Green in Bilton. Photo: Google Street View.
Bilton Pharmacy at The Green in Bilton. Photo: Google Street View.

The nearest alternative for many customers has been Lloyds at Rugby Sainsbury’s but that operation is now at risk from an announcement earlier in the year that all the Lloyds branches in the supermarket chain would close.

In terms of its rethink on Saturday opening, a spokesperson for Avicenna told the Advertiser: “We have undertaken a review of our opening hours across a number of our pharmacies.

"We have an obligation under our contract with the NHS to meet the requirements of that contract which we will more than continue to do so with our new opening hours.

“As you are aware, pharmacies remained open over the covid pandemic supporting our communities and we continue to support the communities we serve today.

“We have seen changes in our sector that have seen our customers access our pharmacies in different way, from using our online ordering system/app to preferring to have their items delivered.

“We have reacted quickly to this change in consumer behaviour adopting new technologies and increasing our delivery service.

“I appreciate change is difficult, but we still have capacity to support those customers previously using Lloyds in Sainsbury’s.

“We have reached out to our colleagues in Lloyds Sainsbury’s and to the GPs in our area to ensure that they know we are still on hand to support and deliver for our community.

“If any of our customers or Lloyds Sainsbury’s customers are concerned, please speak to our team in Bilton and we will try and assist you.”

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