Plans for new Lee-On-The-Solent pharmacy at former Wine Bank alcohol shop building after Boots closure

A former wine shop could be transformed into a new pharmacy - and local people have been invited to have their say on the plans.
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The building which formerly housed The Wine Bank - on the corner of High Street and Pier Street in Lee-On-The-Solent - has been proposed as a venue for a new independent pharmacy after the area was left bereft when Boots at 130-132 High Street permanently shut. Pictures seen by The News show banners on the building posing the question "Want an NHS pharmacy here?" and directing people to the website It comes as The Solent Pharmacy campaign has submitted an application to the NHS for the site - which is hoped to "address various shortcomings in the current system". The Wine Bank shut in the summer of 2022 when its owners retired. According to a Facebook page associated with the campaign, the proposal has faced objections from "a handful" of other local pharmacies but has also had "fantastic" support from other parties. A petition from "Independent Pharmacy" to the NHS currently has more than 100 signatures at time of writing.

A statement from the campaign's website said: "Since an application was lodged several months ago for a brand new independent Pharmacy contract to be granted, one of the two Boots has faced permanent closure leaving the local residents grappling with the inconvenience of limited accessibility to essential healthcare services. The proposed location for the new Pharmacy is the property that has previously been known as the Wine Bank (directly opposite the now permanently closed Boots). The closure of the Pharmacy and lack of access and provision at the remaining contractor vs the demand and needs of the local population has raised significant concerns, particularly due to the added burden it places on residents who may struggle to reach alternative locations like Rowner or Stubbington, thereby jeopardising their ability to easily access vital medications and healthcare advice.

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"Recognising the urgency of the situation, Solent View Medical Practice and Stubbington Medical Practice, the primary local GP surgeries, have thrown their support behind a new pharmacy application. The local council has also provided its full backing to address the crucial issue of dwindling pharmacy services in Lee-on-the-Solent. However, the success of this initiative hinges on the active involvement of the local community. Patient and local population input is paramount in shaping the decision-making process, ensuring that the proposed pharmacy not only meets regulatory standards but also aligns with the unique needs and preferences of the residents. Therefore, an appeal is being made to the community to voice their opinions on the matter, providing insights into the necessity of enhanced pharmacy provisions.

"The proposed pharmacy seeks to address various shortcomings in the current system. This includes the introduction of a free delivery service to those that request it, catering to those who face challenges in physically reaching the pharmacy. Improved opening hours aim to accommodate the diverse schedules of residents, ensuring accessibility for everyone. The expansion of services aims to provide a comprehensive healthcare experience, while a commitment to quicker and more efficient NHS dispensing services promises a streamlined and reliable prescription fulfilment process.

Local people are encouraged to get involved by providing information about pharmacy requirements in the area. You can give feedback via the patient participation form here and view the petition here.

Boots closed roughly 300 pharmacies across the UK last year as part of a company-wide “consolidation” program.

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