Tomorrow I am attending a meeting to try and prevent the so-called merger of twp branches of Boots the Chemists on Allerton Road and Smithdown Place. Boots have already closed down an Alliance pharmacy on Allerton Road, (a subsidiary of Boots; a pharmacy in Marybone and a request has come in to merge two Boots branches in Walton Vale.
The President of the Company I am writing to is an Honourable, which means he is the son of a Lord and is also a friend of David Cameron and was educated at Eton so I have no great hopes that he will want to help the needy and not the greedy.
However what Boots are doing is failing to work with the Tory Government on the prevention agenda which the Government and indeed all political Parties support. Put simply Chemists shops could be doing far more work with the Government and Councils to ensure that low level screening services and innoulations take place in the High Street and thus reduce pressure on GPs and A and E services.
I’ll Let you know what happens to morrow and any response that get from Boots to my very rrasonable suggestion.
Here’s my letter. I hope it speaks for itself:
Hon Sebastian James,
Boots the Chemist,
Nottingham NG2 3AA
27th January 2020
Dear Hon Simon James,
Closure of Pharmacies in Liverpool
Tomorrow I will be attending a meeting to try and prevent you doing a so-called merger of two Boots Pharmacies in Allerton Road, Liverpool 18. You haver already closed an Alliance pharmacy in the area, a pharmacy in Marybone and, I have just been informed, that you hope also to merge two pharmacies in the Walton Vale area of Liverpool.
I say so-called because it is clear there is a pretence of merging two branches because, in that way, you can, as you well know, limit the competition along Allerton Road. It is obvious to me that Boots the Chemist operates not to help the needy but to help the greedy.
I appreciate that the High Street has changed for every type of retailer but Pharmacies have the opportunity to be much, much more than this. You will have seen the recent advice that pharmacies could and should do much more upstream with a range of minor ailments and tests to relieve the pressure on GP practices. This could and should be vital work and it coincides with the opinions of your good friend David Cameron who spoke, during his Prime Ministry, of the need to relieve pressures in this sort of way.
Boots are the biggest supplier of pharmaceutical services in the UK. I believe that if you wanted to do it you could help bring the NHS into line with the Government’s ‘prevention agenda’ and move those services into the High Street. That would send out an important message not only about the riole of pharmacies but also about the fact that Boots do, indeed, want to assist the needy.
On that basis I believe that you should call of any so-called mergers or closures and enter into a full discussion with Councils and the NHS about how Boots could really help with the health and care needs of the communities of England and then the rest of the UK.
I look forward to hearing from you that you agree to this very reasonable request.
Cllr Richard Kemp CBE,
Leader, Liverpool Liberal Democrats
Lib Dem Spokesperson on Health, Local Government Association of England