Boots pharmacy closure: Haywards Heath councillor responds to news

A Haywards Heath councillor has responded to the imminent closure of a Boots pharmacy in the town.

The pharmacy in America Lane, Bentswood, Haywards Heath, is closing on Saturday, June 29, a spokesman has confirmed.

Councillor Stephen Hillier pictured with upset residents outside Boots Pharmacy in Haywards Heath. Photo by Steve Robards

Councillor Stephen Hillier pictured with upset residents outside Boots Pharmacy in Haywards Heath. Photo by Steve Robards

Here is how we broke the news earlier: Haywards Heath retailer announces closure

Stephen Hillier, county and district councillor for Bentswood, said there is already no GP provision in the area and the closure of the pharmacy will only exacerbate the issue.

"I have not felt strongly enough about something before to go to the lengths of a petition and campaign," he added..

"Since becoming a councillor here I have bemoaned the lack of a medical presence in our community and have made West Sussex Healthwatch aware of the issue.

“The NHS has recently recognised the huge value of pharmacists in the front line of providing health advice to residents, not least because it alleviates the pressure on the expensive and stretched GPs and A&E departments.

“For example, I was in the chemist the other day and a mother came in and asked for advice on what to do for her vomiting infant.

“The pharmacist was able to give some great advice, recommend some products and made it clear when the lady should contact her doctor.

“Priceless - so, I dearly hope that we can persuade the NHS to provide a GP or practice nurse-led service in the heart of Bentswood, even if just a morning a week in the pavilion on Barn Cottage Green for example, but in the meantime at least they can advertise the vacant pharmacy as widely as possible in the hope that someone would be interested in applying for a licence and taking it on.”

Mr Hillier is urging residents to sign the petition to ensure adequate healthcare provision is in Bentswood. It is for the attention of the NHS England and the Horsham and Mid Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group.

Anyone from Bentswood or who regularly uses the pharmacy and is wanting to sign the petition can contact Mr Hillier on 07830200722 or email Stephen.Hillier@westsussex.gov.uk.

Residents have responded to the closure news, describing it as ‘disgraceful’. Read more here: Haywards Heath residents react to ‘disgraceful’ Boots pharmacy closure news

The NHS has also offered residents advice. Read more here: Boots pharmacy closure: NHS offers advice to Haywards Heath residents​

Boots has revealed why it is closing the store. Read more here: Boots pharmacy closure: Retailer reveals why it is closing Haywards Heath store