THE Bradford district is among the UK places with the best access to a pharmacy, but there may be no physical pharmacies left on the nation’s high streets by 2069, it has been warned.

Bradford is among the top 10 locations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland with the most pharmacies per capita.

Those residing in the BD postcode area having access to pharmacies responsible for 2,617 people each. The district has a total of 221 pharmacies in a population of 578,374, which works out as 38.21 pharmacies per 100,00 people.

But the Bradford district is also among the 10 locations in England where pharmacies have the shortest lifespan, lasting for an average of 9.03 years from the time of opening.

Meanwhile, as community pharmacies join the UK’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts this week, startling new analysis of NHS data has revealed there will be no physical pharmacies left on England’s high streets by January 2069.

Research by online pharmacy Medicine Direct has found just 16,794 pharmacies remain in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, at a time where the UK health service is being stretched to its greatest levels in living memory.

The ‘Pharmacy Blackspots’ study shows the total number of high street pharmacies in England has decreased by 26 each month over the last two years. The research also reveals that in England from January 2019 to November 2020 a total of 1,200 pharmacies closed with 614 opening, a net loss of 586 pharmacies. Should this rate continue, it would mean all remaining physical pharmacies would close within many of our lifetimes; with half of all existing pharmacies set to close by 2046.

With pharmacies playing an integral role in the ongoing rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and with health secretary Matt Hancock suggesting no-one in the UK will have to travel more than 10 miles for their jab, the research also uncovers the areas with the worst access to a physical pharmacy in 2021 and where residents could potentially see the longest waiting times for a jab in the coming months.

The analysis also reveals the towns and cities with the worst access to pharmacies right now, which could impact the mass rollout of jabs in the coming months.

Salisbury is the location in which residents in England had the worst access to a pharmacy, where each physical location was found to serve approximately 5,956 people. Those in Hereford (5,510 people per pharmacy) and Reading (5,189) followed closely behind.