PEOPLE who use pharmacies in part of East Lancs have suffered shortages or delays in buying prescription medicines such as insulin, councillors have been told.

In Barnoldswick, chemists have been impacted and some councillors hope the Lancs integrated health board can assist.

Councillors sitting on the West Craven area committee heard, in a report, "there is an acute problem with people being unable to get prescriptions filled, with Whitworth chemists suffering a breakdown in service. Previously, Well chemists has suffered similar problems.”

Liberal Democrat Cllr David Whipp said: “It’s quite an appalling situation where people are queuing 30 minutes to get a prescription filled but when they get to the counter they are told it’s not ready. They have to go home and come back at 5pm.  It’s an ongoing problem.

“It includes insulin, which is critical for people with diabetes. I know several people who have failed to get insulin, It’s a very serious problem.

“I think the committee should contact the local integrated care service. I think they are responsible for primary care which includes pharmacies. We need to find out what’s happening and improve things in future. ”

A spokesman for the Lancs and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board, which organises healthcare services in the region, said: “We have had no reports about stock levels in Pendle being any different to anywhere else in the region but some temporary shortages in stocks of medications at pharmacies are not uncommon.

“When things are nationally unavailable, the NHS may issue serious shortage protocols (SSPs) which allows community pharmacies to supply an alternative product on the prescription – however nothing is in place currently around insulin products.

“Patients who find their regular pharmacy is out of stock can try other pharmacies because they may use a different wholesaler and have stocks available.

"It is advisable to phone ahead to check there is stock available before visiting a pharmacy. To find your local pharmacy, visit”

Well and Whitworth pharmacies have been contacted for comment.