HEALTH has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds over the past few months.

And a pharmacy which serves the whole of the Tyne Valley – and beyond – has been working flat out to look after residents’ welfare during the coronavirus pandemic.

Haydon Bridge Pharmacy is a one-stop-shop for a wide range of medical and other everyday needs, from toothpaste and paracetamol, to more specialist items, including prescriptions.

Throughout lockdown, customers have visited the pharmacy, which has adapted to meet Covid-19 requirements.

But there’s much more to the pharmacy than what goes on within the walls of its Church Street premises.

The business’s eight delivery drivers travel across the district, reaching out as far afield as Brampton, West Denton, Otterburn and Consett.

The drivers are part of a 27-strong team of staff, which includes specialists who offer private consultations to residents about their medical needs.

Owner and pharmacist Tom McCullouch said: “The coronavirus pandemic has been a challenging time, but we have such a good team here, while the people we serve have been very understanding.”

“During lockdown, it was very difficult for many people to make GP appointments, and I am glad that we were able to help them meet there medical needs as much as possible.”

The business has changed considerably since Tom first arrived in Haydon Bridge, some 13 years ago. Back in 2007, the village’s former chemist was located across the road on Church Street, in the premises now occupied by the pet shop.

The shop and dispensary has expanded to such an extent, it went from delivering 2,000 items per month in 2007, to 24,000 items per month in 2020.

“The world has changed,” said Tom. “There has been an increase in the elderly population who are unable to get out and about. Lifestyles are different, with people working long and varied hours, so deliveries went from being a luxury, to something that is now essential.”

Tom, who thanked customers for their patience during the coronavirus pandemic, also had a special message.

He added: “People have important medical needs and if you are ordering items, please do so a week before you run out. That ensures that we have plenty of time to get what you require before you run out.”

The pharmacy is now open six days per week, from 9am to 7pm weekdays, and from 9am to 6pm on Saturdays.