A PHARMACY service is facing the real threat of closure, leaving a community concerned.

A notice application has been submitted to close the pharmacy service which is housed in the Co-op store in Buckskin Parade.

Pillbox Chemists Ltd, which runs the pharmacy, is seeking to close the facility, which would mean the nearest chemist for residents living in Buckskin would be in Oakley.

Since the notice went up, residents in the area have strongly objected to the plan, insisting it would seriously impact people who are reliant on the service.

Residents action group, 4B, has strongly opposed the decision.

In a statement, the group said: “The loss of the ‘first call’ option could be a serious one for those residents reliant on it, and the trip to the Oakley Pharmacy is far from easy for many people. 4B urges residents to use the pharmacy whenever possible.

“The absence of a doctor’s surgery nearby, together with the delivery service offered to many by their GP’s pharmacy means the Buckskin Parade dispensing chemist is under-used.

"Residents are urged to use it or face the possibility of losing it.”

This view was echoed by Buckskin ward councillor Tony Jones who said that the potential closure is a sign of cuts being made to significant services.

Cllr Jones said: “It is just another clear hit to the people of Buckskin.

“With no local surgery we need to keep this facility in the area. If not it will almost be as if we are going back in time.”

He added: “We do not know the cause of this decision. These companies just seem to make their own choices without telling the people it will impact.

“The action group work really hard to give people in Buckskin the best quality of life they can.”

Pillbox has applied to NHS England to consolidate two of its pharmacies and continue the business from the alternative site, thus closing the pharmacy in Buckskin.

An NHS England South East spokesperson said: “People are able to use the services of a pharmacy of their choice. Sometimes this may not be the pharmacy closest to their home as it might be more convenient to use a pharmacy in other places.

“Most pharmacies will offer a free home delivery service for patients especially those with mobility problems and many community pharmacies will collect prescriptions from their local surgeries.”