A LONG-STANDING community pharmacy in Newport will be closing in just two months' time.

The Boots branch at 136 Chepstow Road, Maindee, will serve its last customers on Saturday, January 27, 2024.

The chain's consolidation programme will halve the number of stores in Newport with the Caerleon Road branch headed for closure in early February.

Customers have been advised the nearest store for collecting prescriptions will be on Commercial Street where Chepstow Road staff will be relocated and which will be one of just two in the city to survive the axe.

Maindee Library says there has been a chemist at 136 Chepstow Road since at least the turn of the twentieth century, with a street directory from 1897 registering an “Evans & Lewis” chemist where Boots stands.

South Wales Argus: Boots has been a constant of the Maindee high street for decades

The health and pharmaceutical chain announced in June it would be closing 300 of its UK stores (around 1 in 7) over the next year.

A Boots spokesperson has said the programme would allow the company to “concentrate its team members where they are needed”. The Argus understands the scheme typically affects stores within 2km of another.

One Facebook user responded to the news: “Really sorry that Boots is closing. The staff there are so friendly and helpful.

Another said: “So local people are going to be affected! Especially those for whom travel is an ordeal.

“Pharmacies are so very much more than a place to pick up prescriptions – not least the informal advice to reassure about niggling medical worries and prevent more serious developments.”

'Very personal service'

John Hallam, programme manager of the Maindee Unlimited charity, said: "Many people rely on the chemists for a range of services, not just prescriptions. For people who are old and frail, it's more difficult to get to town.

"It can be a very personal service and the staff in Maindee are longstanding and trusted by the local community.

"I think we have to thank Boots for many good years of service though it's a shame corporate retailers can't provide a local service here."

Mr Hallam has encouraged affected residents to complete Aneurin Bevan University Health Board's online survey so they can better understand local needs and consider potential action. You can complete the survey at t.ly/OQteo.

Boots has declined to comment at this stage.