Mum sparks furious debate after blasting pharmacists for shutting for lunch

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A mum has sparked a furious online debate after declaring that pharmacies should not close for lunch every day. The Mumsnet user ranted that the practice was “old fashioned” and “unnecessary” with some agreeing with her, while others branded her “unreasonable”.

Currently in the UK, there must be a pharmacist present whenever pharmaceutical services are being provided. This means that if there is only one qualified pharmacist working in a store customers cannot pick up their prescriptions during their set lunch break.

In some cases just the pharmaceutical counter will close for that time but in other stores management will decide to close the whole shop.

Commenting under the username MrsBrie, the disgruntled parent said: “Am I being unreasonable to think pharmacies shouldn’t shut for lunch anymore? It just seems so old fashioned and unnecessary and I don’t see any argument for it.

“Yes, everyone is entitled to a lunch break – of course, but why does the entire pharmacy need to close? Can’t they stagger the staff lunch breaks, like everywhere else?

“It’s not like it’s not an important place? What about the people who need their prescriptions and can only pick it up in that hour? I suspect that’s a lot of people.

“Also, with GPs now really encouraging people to see their pharmacists first, this just seems even more unjustified.”

She closed by asking, “Assuming it’s not just me who thinks this?”

But almost 800 people voted in response to her question, with 58 percent believing she was being unreasonable.

A total of 258 people also replied to her query, with many pointing out that this was necessary.

“Because the pharmacist has to be working for the staff to give out medication,” one said. “It’s the law.”

Another commenter shared how this could lead to abusive behaviour from customers.

They explained: “I used to work as a pharmacy dispenser in a chain store that was open all day.

“The pharmacist would go on his lunch so the pharmacy counter would close but the wider store itself would remain open.

“I legally couldn’t hand anything out and the abuse I got from people screaming at me to give them their prescriptions was unbelievable.

“I was threatened, had customers try to push past me and climb over/behind the counter. It was hell.

“Spare a thought for pharmacy staff who CANNOT give medication out but are forced to stay there anyway to sell over the counter.

“Pharmacy work is intense, repetitive and mentally draining because if you mess up, you could potentially kill someone. Give them a break.”

But others agreed with the original post.

“Most companies manage to stay open over lunch,” one said. “In a 24 hour world it’s bizarre to shut a company for a lunch break rather than rota staff accordingly,”

Another said: “Don’t know why they don’t just allow people to pick their own and self check out.”

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