A DECISION to close East Cornwall’s only late-opening pharmacy has been met with outrage from the community which it serves.

Asda Pharmacy in Bodmin is set to close at the end of July 2024.

It comes on the heels of the closure of the Boots Pharmacy branch on Bell Lane, adjacent to the Stillmoor House medical practice, at the end of March.

Staff at the pharmacy, which was open until 9pm on weekdays and Saturday have informed residents of the closure, which will leave Bodmin with only two ‘bricks and mortar’ pharmacies serving the town.

A dedicated pharmacy within the building of the new Bosvena Health doctors’ surgery on land near to the Cornwall Council Chy Trevail building on Dunmere Road is planned, however construction has not yet begun on this.

Ahead of the closure, there have been calls from community leaders to try and persuade Asda to reverse its closure decision amid fears that its closure could cause disruption to the town’s residents requiring prescribed medication and minor illness advice at a time where visiting a pharmacist to relieve pressure on doctors surgeries has been encouraged.

Bodmin Town Council discussed the issue at its most recent meeting of the community services committee, resolving to write a letter to Asda’s chiefs to make clear their opposition to the plans.

Cllr Leigh Frost, the Cornwall Council member for Bodmin St Petroc’s, criticised Asda for closing the pharmacy.

He said: “I am very disappointed to see the Asda pharmacy closing. Bodmin is seeing a significant reduction in available pharmacies; this decision will only put more pressure on the existing pharmacies and sadly create further issues for residents that need the service.

“This is not just an issue for Bodmin residents, as the Asda pharmacy is the only one open later than 6pm in the whole of East Cornwall. This disadvantages many of our working population who can’t get to the pharmacy during usual hours.

“Unfortunately, for big businesses, profit margins mean more to them than the community.”

Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, said he would also be contacting the supermarket chain on behalf of residents and asked those affected to make contact.

He said: “It's extremely disappointing that Asda have taken this decision at very short notice, and I will be writing to their head office to express my concerns on behalf of people in Bodmin and the local area.

“Please get in touch with me via [email protected] if you are opposed to Asda closing the pharmacy at their Bodmin store, as it will be helpful to have an idea of how many people would like this decision reversed."

Asda did not respond to a request for comment.