A pharmacy in Leslie has been forced to close temporarily in recent weeks due to staff shortages, leaving locals unable to collect prescriptions.
The local branch of Lloyds Pharmacy in the Fife town announced it would be closed on Wednesday, July 7, with patients urged to collect urgent medicines the day before.
It had also been forced to close for on Friday, July 2.
One local who was left unable to collect their prescription said: “It’s the only pharmacy close by and lots of older people and those who can’t travel will rely on it. Not just for their prescription but for advice too.
“It’s not fair on locals or the staff who are trying to cope during a pandemic without the people they need.
“Hopefully Lloyds find a solution soon.”
A Lloyds spokesperson said the company was working to resolve the issue at its Leslie pharmacy.
They said: “It is always our priority to ensure that all our pharmacies are open and accessible to provide medicines and care to patients.
Disruption to services
“We are currently having to part close with neighbouring sites due to lack of pharmacist availability, which is unfortunately causing some disruption to our services which we sincerely apologise for.
“We take our responsibility for the care of our patients and customers very seriously, and our field management and rota team are working hard to resolve these staffing issues as quickly as possible.
“Closing any of our pharmacies at any time is always a last resort.”
Closing any of our pharmacies at any time is always a last resort
It comes as NHS Fife asked people across the Kingdom to play their part in tackling the impact of rising Covid infections.
The health board reported its GP services were “very busy”, and urged people to access the right medical service rather than attending A&E with non-life-threatening conditions.
NHS Scotland advises patients that if they have a minor illness their local pharmacy should be the first place they go for advice.
Dr Chris McKenna, Medical Director at NHS Fife, said GPs were busy seeing an “increase in those who are feeling very unwell with the virus“.
Dr McKenna added: “All of our health and care services are under increasing strain from this demand. We also have a number of staff self-isolating, which is adding to the challenge.
“All steps are being taken to manage patients as safely as possible within Fife’s health care services, however we also need the public to play their part.
“We are seeing increasing numbers of the general public presenting at our emergency department, despite being given information on NHS 24 as well as suitable alternatives for care.”