With thanks to Gavin Mowat, Constituency Assistant to Christian Allard MSP.
North East MSP Christian Allard has welcomed Scottish Government proposals which will see rural communities given a greater say in the pharmacy application process.
Health Secretary Alex Neil has announced that existing legislation will be amended to create a range of new provisions including improved community engagement in the pharmacy application process and clearer guidance for local NHS boards.
The new regulations will create powers to refuse a pharmacy application in cases where provision of existing NHS services would be adversely affected.
Christian Allard MSP has welcomed the contribution of groups within his constituency to the Consultation on the Control of Entry Arrangements and Dispensing GP Practices, published today (30 May 2014).
The only two community councils to respond to the consultation were from the North East – Newtonhill, Muchalls and Cammachmore Community Council and Tarves Community Council. Further responses were submitted by a Pitmedden-based social enterprise the “B999 Health Trust” and NHS Grampian.
In 2012, NHS Grampian removed dispensing services from the Pitmedden medical practice following the opening on a pharmacy in Tarves. This consequently led to the closure of Tarves GP branch which had a significant impact upon the delivery of local health services.
Following an effective community-led campaign, NHS Grampian convened a special Review Panel tasked with reviewing the decision to cease dispensing in Pitmedden. Local MSPs Alex Salmond and Mark McDonald were the only politicians to make representations to the Panel, which recommended in favour of restoring dispensing in Pitmedden thus allowing for the GP branch surgery in Tarves to reopen.
Commenting, Mr Allard said:
“I’m delighted that my constituents have been able to contribute to this important consultation on pharmacy applications.
“The communities of Pitmedden and Tarves have worked tremendously hard in recent years to deliver a positive outcome for healthcare provision in the local area.
“However, these new arrangements will create a clearer framework and a stronger voice for communities with strong concerns about pharmacy applications in their area. This can only be good news for local health services.”
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