Keeping the door open on the Tarves GP Surgery

A delegation from the local communities affected by the closure of Tarves GP Surgery discussed the way forward with NHS Grampian today at a meeting hosted by Alex Salmond MSP. The urgent meeting came after the Branch Surgery run by Haddo Medical Group was closed last Friday (7th September 2012) following a long battle over medical dispensing rights.

The meeting thrashed out a series of issues that were raised by the community representatives and Alex Salmond himself. Richard Carey, NHS Grampian Chief Executive, took a positive and constructive view of the plight of local residents and has agreed to take the case back to the Health Board before the end of the year. He also agreed to allow the community to present their case directly to the board.

Paul Johnston, who led the delegation, said after the meeting, “This is not yet a done deal and a lot of work is required by all concerned to review the dispensing. As a community we will continue to pressure NHS Grampian to review the decisions that led us to this point and will ask all politicians to support us in this process.”

Chris York, a Tarves resident who also attended the meeting, commented “We were pleased to see the positive approach of NHS Grampian.  We hope that through the long term campaign by the community we have kept a door open on the process, if not on the surgery itself. We now need to build a strong case to convince the Health Board that the regulations allow the dispensing rights to be reinstated. This won’t automatically reopen our surgery, but it will make it a viable proposition for Haddo Medical Group to provide a service within Tarves.”

Tarves surgery closed on Friday 7th September at midday.  Haddo Medical Group confirmed that the closure was a direct result of losing dispensing rights in both Tarves and Pitmedden to TLC Pharmacy (owned by Invercoast Ltd of Gourock, superintendent pharmacist James Semple), a private sector company, who recently opened a pharmacy in Tarves.  The opening of the pharmacy was resisted by the local community and initially refused by NHS Grampian, but that decision was subsequently rejected by the National Appeal Panel.

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