I have to get one thing crystal clear first. The managers and staff at Royton’s 2 Well+ pharmacies are working their socks off under intense pressure due to vastly increased demand and staff shortages. We all owe them a debt of gratitude for their commitment to their customers here in Royton.

But, it is my understanding that they are not being provided with adequate resources from head office (they have around 800 branches in the UK) and that is resulting in elderly and "at risk" people being forced to break their self-isolation every day to travel into Royton and stand in a queue for 30-60 minutes outside in the precinct. They should be at home staying safe, not sharing door handles with hundreds of other people who come in/out of the pharmacy.

I’ve had a long phonecall and ongoing facebook messenger chats with a guy called from Robert from Well+ head office starting this Tuesday. I keep asking him WHEN they will fix their phonelines and WHEN they will increase their home delivery capacity so that Royton’s "at risk" residents can STOP breaking their self-isolation to drag themselves into Royton precinct.

I got an email today from Roger Balshaw at Well+ who is listed as a "Pharmacist working in patient safety and professional standards" on LinkedIn. His email did not mention when home-delivery capacity would be increased and regarding their broken phone systems he only said "The pharmacy teams are also experiencing a high number of telephone calls which, in some circumstances, has affected our telephone lines. We are working hard to remedy this situation"

Working hard? WORKING HARD?

That should have been a massive APOLOGY to all of Royton’s Well+ pharmacy customers who are being forced out into town centres during the peak infection period of this pandemic. Outrageous. They SHOULD have said "we recommend that all of our "at risk" customer switch to a different pharmacy whose phonelines are working properly and who have already quadrupled their home-delivery capacity. They should also have issue an apology to their 2 Royton branch managers (Nicholas and Said) and their dedicated staff members who are on the front-line dealing with frustrated customers who can’t get through to make enquiries or arrange home-deliveries. I know that both managers are already going above and beyond what anyone could reasonably expect of them, but they are doing it out of their sense of duty and loyalty to their customers in their hour of need during this pandemic.

My best advice right now is for anyone with an "at risk" friend or relative who has prescriptions with Well+ pharmacy seriously consider calling the numbers below and request free next-day home-delivery for all future prescriptions until Well+ make an announcement to say that their phone-lines are fixed and they have quadrupled their home-delivery capacity.

* 0161 624 3470 GoTo Pharmacy in Chadderton
* 01706 841 391 Lifestyle pharmacy in High Crompton
* 0161 620 6911 Chadderton Pharmacy

This advice will not make me popular with the hard-working staff in Royton’s 2 Well+ pharmacies but I hope they understand that I am pressuring Well+ head office every day since Tuesday this week to get the above 2 issues dealt with properly and then we can all work hard again to encourage all "at risk" Well+ customers to phone the branch to arrange home delivery.

If you know someone isolating who needs help with their prescriptions please tell them to stay at home and help them follow the instructions at www.DoMeAFavour.net