Extended opening hours for Yarmouth pharmacy

Store pharmacists Alf Choudhury and Shatal Thapa with dispenser Emma Ferreira at the Gapton Hall Ret

Store pharmacists Alf Choudhury and Shatal Thapa with dispenser Emma Ferreira at the Gapton Hall Retail Park, Boots store. Extending their pharmacy service to midnight every night of the week. Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A pharmacy has extended it's opening hours to offer residents a larger window to access their medication, following a mother's concerns over the provision.

In September, the Mercury reported that Rebecca Marnell, of Suffolk Road, took her 10-year-old daughter Rheanna to the James Paget University Hospital after she said she felt unwell. Rheanna had a serious case of tonsillitis and was prescribed antibiotics.

But as the hospital pharmacy was closed, Mrs Marnell contacted the NHS 111 non-emergency helpline to see where she could pick up the medication, and was told the Boots store would be able to help.

But when Mrs Marnell, 31, arrived at the store it was closed and had been since 4.30pm, forcing her to return to her daughter without any medication.

Mrs Marnell said at the time: 'I had no choice but to wait until first thing Monday morning to go and get the required medication as there were no pharmacies open on the Sunday evening. Rheanna was up all night with a high temperature and she was clearly very ill.

'I think it is terrible we don't have a pharmacy in the Great Yarmouth area which opens 24 hours a day, especially in this day and age.'

Now, Boots on Gapton Hall Retail Park has extended its opening hours to midnight on a Sunday, meaning the store is now open until midnight every night.

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David Lewis, store manager, said that this had been something they had been trying to do for a while, but he had been spurred on by an article in the Mercury.

'We'd been wanting to make this happen for a while, but were trying to work out the logistics, such as making sure people had access to the retail park,' said Mr Lewis, who has worked for Boots for 14 years.

'But seeing the article spurred us on to get it under way and since December 20 we've now been able to open until midnight on a Sunday as well as every other night of the week.'

Mr Lewis said that he believes the change makes the store the latest opening pharmacy within a 20 mile radius.

'It's all about being able to provide a service for patients for as long as possible,' he added. 'We have a lot of patients here who have medication for palliative care, so it's important to be able to support them for longer, as well as anyone else.'

During the extended opening hours, the main store will still close at the same time but services can be offered through a night hatch.