PATIENTS waiting for their prescriptions from a town pharmacy have demanded action.

A number of residents of Upton Upon Severn have complained about long waits for prescriptions at the branch of Boots in the town.

Because of staffing shortages, the pharmacy has been regularly closed during work hours, leaving residents unable to receive their prescriptions.

Currently, some people living near the town are unable to pick up their prescriptions from Upton Surgery because guidelines state people have to live within one mile of their nearest surgery.

As a result, more people are forces to go to Boots for their prescriptions, worsening the issue, which has been reported to both Upton Town Council and West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin.

Mayor of Upton Cllr Shirley Dobbin said she and her fellow councillors were concerned, with a number of residents getting in touch about the issue.

She said: "Many residents have spoken out with regards to problems with prescription collections.

"This seems to be a wider problem then just in Upton and the council is seriously concerned.

"We know that there are limited staff in the Upton Boots and that they are doing the best they can but we welcome Harriet’s intervention at a senior level to try and provide a more consistent service."

West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin also confirmed she had written to Boots chief executive Sebastian James asking him to take action.

She said: "I have had a number of people complain to me about the performance of Boots in Upton and I have asked the chief executive to look into this matter.

"I’ve looked into local people’s complaints and have agreed to take this matter up at a senior level.

"The staff who have to deal with customer complaints are doing a fine job under difficult circumstances but I want to make sure that the management is looking at steps to fix this problem."

In response, a Boots spokesperson said: "Last month, we saw a high rate of pharmacist team member absence at our store at Upton Upon Severn for a variety of reasons, including sick leave.

"Our store team worked very hard to keep the store open and minimise disruption for patients and customers. 

"Unfortunately, there were times that we had to take the difficult decision to temporarily close the store when there was no pharmacist cover available.

"We apologise to patients who have been affected and thank them for bearing with us and being kind to our team members."