A petition has been launched to save Old Town’s Boots Pharmacy.

Luke Campbell set up the Change.org webpage after hearing the news that the Wood Street branch will close on February 9, 2024.

It is set to be one of the 300 that Boots is closing between June 2023 and June 2024 as the chain cuts its portfolio down from 2,200 to 1,900 sites around the UK.

The Adver understands that the Boots in the Brunel Shopping Centre's plaza will be the only one in the central Swindon area left open after this date.

Though the two branches seem close together on a map, the steep hill between them would make return journeys from Old Town difficult for elderly and disabled customers or patients.

Luke said: “I have seen firsthand how many people rely on the local Boots pharmacy.

“It is not just a business, it's an essential part of our community. The pharmacy's central location makes it accessible to all, especially those who struggle with mobility or lack transportation options.

“The decision by Boots to close this pharmacy is not just inconvenient - it could have serious health implications for many residents.

“According to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, pharmacies play a crucial role in relieving pressure on other healthcare services by providing advice and treatment for common conditions and ensuring continuous supply of medicines."

The main cause for concern is that, since the pharmacy in the nearby Co-op closed, Boots has been the only available and easily accessible option for people living in Old Town who need to pick up prescriptions.

Luke adds that Boots closing "would leave our community without immediate access to vital pharmaceutical services [which] could potentially force individuals into more expensive or less convenient alternatives, such as travelling further distances or relying on overstretched GP surgeries for prescriptions".

Swindon Advertiser: The Boots pharmacy in Old TownThe Boots pharmacy in Old Town (Image: Newsquest)

Adver commenters also shared their concerns.

'Lizzie 12' said: "Mostly, this Boots store does prescriptions. This has increased excessively since the Co-op pharmacy closed. Yes, Boots might be more expensive but the pharmacy is a lifeline for many in the community."

User 'ttmh03' added: "This is very worrying news, especially for older residents in Old Town, of which there are many.

"The pharmacy based in the Co-Op closed earlier this year and now Boots are planning to shut. This means there [would be] no pharmacies whatsoever in the Old Town area.

"The government's suggestion of using pharmacists more instead of bothering overworked GPs really isn't working out."

A commenter known as 'Grumpy old codger' said: "It's a small shop, with three staff running their socks off, and still the queue is out the door.

"The next nearest [pharmacy] is down Vic Hill - try that in a wheelchair."

Luke added: “We urge Boots UK Ltd, as well as relevant health authorities and local government officials, to reconsider this decision and keep our beloved local pharmacy open.

“We understand that businesses must make tough decisions based on financial considerations but believe that public health and accessibility should be paramount when making these choices.

“Please join us in calling for the reversal of this decision by signing this petition today.

“Your support can help ensure continued access to essential pharmaceutical services for all residents of Old Town.”

The petition is at www.change.org/p/reverse-boots-decision-to-close-old-town-swindon-pharmacy

South Swindon MP Robert Buckland is also worried about Boots’ closure plan.

He said: "I have requested an urgent phone call with Boots CEO Sebastian James. I have also contacted NHS England, as well as NHS South, Central and West, to raise urgent concerns on behalf of all of the residents who use Boots in Old Town, as well as the staff who work there."

The Adver has approached Boots for comment.