After being told that their local branch of national pharmacy chain, Boots, will close at the end of the month, customers and patients in North End have been relieved to learn that local independent, Lalys Pharmacy, further down London Road has agreed to take over its NHS contract.

Whilst national brands are streamlining operations and reducing their presence on the high street, a local community pharmacy has stepped forward to ensure that residents in North End have a place to go with medical prescriptions, for health products and to get advice.

After the August Bank Holiday, Lalys Pharmacy will be taking over the NHS pharmacy contract from the branch of Boots that has been located at 25 London Road in North End.

‘Despite the demands of the past six months, this has nothing to do with the COVID-19 pandemic,’ says Mr Baldev Laly, founder and owner of Lalys Pharmacy which has four branches across Portsea Island and has served the city for over 30 years.

‘We were made aware that Boots needed to deescalate operations a few years ago as a result of reduced funding into pharmacy, and decided that we were in a position to absorb its contract into our London Road branch. In order to do this, we had to give notice of our existing contract to NHS England in order to take on this new one.’

But as far as existing and new patients are concerned, there is no change to Lalys Pharmacy’s existing service and longer opening hours.

‘The changes are all behind the scenes. The merger process has taken longer than usual due to Coronavirus, but we are ready for the change at the end of the month,’ explains Mr Laly.

‘Our job is to now make sure that GP surgeries, patients and customers who used Boots in North End, know we are ready to support them, just a few doors down the road at our normal location of 6 London Road, Portsmouth.’