A PHARMACY has had to make changes to its services amid abuse from people and increasing demand.

Kitsons Pharmacy in Broad Street has had to strip down some of its services as it deals with a workforce crisis and a dramatic increase in covid related absences.

Director's assistant Jivan Sohal said staff have faced the brunt of people's frustrations at a lack of lateral flow tests.

However, after the Worcester News highlighted the issue, Kitsons has been visited by people who have apologised on behalf of those who abuse them.

The stretched service is now having to announce that its free medication delivery service is being stripped back.

A statement from the pharmacy said: "This service is not funded by the NHS and is run entirely by the pharmacy.

"As you can imagine, this service comes with multitudinous costs.

"With increasing fuel prices, drivers’ wages, vehicle maintenance and insurance costs, this service is becoming incredibly difficult for us to maintain.

 

"If you can collect your medication, we would urge you to do so.

"This helps us ensure that medication is delivered to those who really need it most."

The pharmacy said it was facing disruption because of a dramatic increase in covid-19 related absences, including self-isolation and contact tracing, which is affecting its ability to deliver services to the community.

"As funding cuts deepen in our sector, our pharmacy staff members are working longer hours and with fewer pharmacy staff.

"This means our time and resources are being stretched across all our NHS services.

"As a team, we feel we must prioritise the delivery of essential services to the public and protect the health and wellbeing of our pharmacy colleagues.

"We have seen an increase in verbal abuse, across all our methods of communication, including patients visiting us in-store over the counter, via the telephone, and across our website/email routes.

READ MORE: Angry people scream and swear over lack of lateral flow tests

"We have unfortunately seen staff members leave us due to mental health and wellbeing reasons.

"During this exceptionally difficult time, we ask for you to be patient and work with us to help us help you.

"It is, therefore, a shame to have seen the countless occasions of verbal abuse to our team in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

"Our telephone lines are very busy at the moment, and we may take slightly longer than usual to get to you, but please bear with us.

"Our message has not changed. We are still here for you.

"We are just asking for patience and understanding during this very difficult time for everyone."

People have been swearing and shouting at staff members annoyed at a national shortage of lateral flow tests.

However, while Kitsons is signed up to Pharmacy Collect the free LFD tests are only handed out if there is stock available.