SCALLOWAY is set to get a new pharmacy on a site adjacent to the Kiln Bar after an application by NorsePharm to provide pharmaceutical services was approved by the Shetland Pharmacy Practices Committee, last week.
The meeting of the committee was held last Tuesday but its outcome was only made public on Monday.
The NorsePharm application has caused a huge outcry in the village with the local community voicing its opposition to the plans. They were backed by Shetland MSP Tavish Scott who agreed that the application would threaten the viability of the local GP services.
The Scalloway doctors have said they were set to lose a third of their business and have lodged a rival application.
On Monday, Mr Scott said he would seek a revision of the rules governing pharmacy applications as the decision had gone against the wishes of the community.
However, on Tuesday, the seven strong committee, chaired by NHS Shetland non-executive director Keith Massey, concluded that pharmaceutical services in the area were “inadequate” and granted NorsePharm the right to open a pharmacy in Scalloway.
They said that the Scalloway surgery provides a dispensing service only and not a pharmacy services as defined by the Pharmacy Contract.
In a statement, NHS Shetland said: “The committee also carefully considered all the feedback received from the public consultation, which predominately centred on concerns for the future of the Scalloway surgery rather than an objection to the provision of pharmacy services.
“The committee concluded that the provision of a pharmacy would add to the range and quality of health care delivered to patients in the Scalloway area. A pharmacy in Scalloway would provide patient choice, as currently patients have to travel to Lerwick to access these services.
“The application was considered both necessary and desirable in order to secure adequate provision of pharmaceutical services.”
Mr Massey added: “I would like to thank everyone involved in the process. The Pharmacy practices committee took a great deal of time and care in reaching the decision. The members carried out their difficult roles very thoroughly and I appreciate the work they put in.”
Mr Scott said: “I am very disappointed that the clearly expressed view of the Scalloway community, which was that they wanted to retain their present dispensing GP setup, has been overlooked. There is an appeal process. I would encourage the Scalloway GPs to give serious consideration to lodging an appeal.
“There can be no question that the way the current regulations are being interpreted and applied has worked against the clear interests and wishes of the Scalloway community.
“I plan to pursue this – the regulations need to be revised so that they cannot be interpreted in this way with the valid interests of a community being ignored as they have been this time.”
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