The decision has been made to discontinue the local POD prescription ordering service.

The service allows scores of residents to order medication via conventional methods like telephone or email. 

But in October, concerns were raised after MPs were sent a letter saying it could be scrapped.

Now, the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board has confirmed that the POD service will be coming to an end.

25 out of 88  doctors surgeries within the area the ICB covers used the POD service. 

A statement from the ICB said: "The decision was made following a rigorous period of engagement, during which the ICB worked with local health and care providers, including colleagues in GP practices, care homes and pharmacies, to look at potential alternatives to the current POD model.

"People who regularly use POD are advised to continue ordering their medicines in the usual way through POD, and not to order any more than is needed.

"The ICB is now focusing on ensuring a smooth transition away from POD and offering support to the 85 colleagues affected by the closure."

Dr Amanda Webb, chief medical officer, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “We recognise that POD is a popular and well-valued function to a number of our patients, and the decision to close has not been taken lightly.

“When we look at our region as a whole, only 25 of our 88 GP practices are linked up with POD, which means patients at the other 63 surgeries do not have access, and order medicines either through their practice or via the NHS App.

“This level of inequity is unsustainable, especially as all GP practices receive funding to provide repeat prescribing to their respective patients in-house.

“Our thanks go out to our hard-working POD colleagues, all of whom have provided invaluable service over the last seven years, and we will be doing all we can over the next few weeks to provide support as and where is necessary.”

Speaking after the news that the scheme was under review, Sir Robert Buckland said: “I have raised concerns about how these proposed changes may impact on the most vulnerable patients, those typically without internet access or the ability to use online forms, either through choice or barriers."