An independent chain of Chemists in Newcastle-under-Lyme Business Improvement District (BID) area has played a huge part in fighting the Covid virus by vaccinating over 100,000 people.
Cornwell’s Chemists, which was first established back in 1835, owns seven branches across Staffordshire and two of them have been operating as NHS Covid-19 vaccination centres as part of the national drive.
The company recently reached 100,000 vaccinations since they started earlier in 2021 and is now offering free health checks for people in the town centre.
Business Development Manager Helen Watton has worked at the Newcastle branch in High Street for over 20 years and says that Cornwell’s proactive and innovative approach is one the main reasons she has worked there for so long.
“The brilliant thing about Cornwell’s is that they are very open-minded and if you have an idea, they are willing to run with it,” she said.
“In terms of the vaccinations, we were very lucky that we could help out at two of our sites because we could act fast. We are fairly small compared to the large chains, but we have the ability to react quickly if we have an idea.”
One of Helen’s ideas is from the additional footfall brought into the town centre by Castle Artisan Market’s Bank Holiday Fun Day to provide free routine health checks for members of the public outside The Guildhall. The health checks, which would usually cost £25, will be offered free of charge and include checking of general health markers such as blood pressure, BMI and glucose which could pick up any medical issues that they may not be aware of.
The chemist is also looking into things like health and wellness days in association with Newcastle-under-Lyme BID which will provide more opportunities for customers to get a check-up.
Helen said: “For us it’s about being the community pharmacy, supporting the community and identifying cases early.
“Also, if there’s anything we can help people with in particular then we want them to let us know because we are always looking for new ideas.”
Chemists across the country were the exception to the rule during the Covid lockdowns in 2020, as they stayed open and actually got busier, increasing the deliveries they did and relying on the support of volunteers.
Cornwell’s then went through a rigorous process to turn two of their clinics into vaccination centres, but Helen remains extremely grateful for the help and support they received from local volunteers in Newcastle and elsewhere to help keep the pharmacies open throughout the pandemic.
“Lots of volunteers were willing to help us with things like delivering medicines to people, which actually helped them to get out of the house, so it was great that the community pulled together.
“Newcastle has got such fantastic people and with the regeneration money that is going to be given, it’s going to be fabulous in the town. Newcastle-under-Lyme BID will play a part in that, so we are proud to be in the area.
“We are happy and very proud to serve the community in Newcastle and we certainly have no plans to move away!
Find Cornwell’s Chemists in High Street, Newcastle-under-Lyme.
Monday to Wednesday 9am to 6pm
Thursday 9am to 5.30pm
Friday 9am to 6pm
Saturday 9am to 3pm
Find Cornwell’s Chemists online at https://cornwells.co.uk/