NHS says no to Community owned Pitmedden Pharmacy

A decision by NHS Grampian has rejected an application from a local Social Enterprise for a pharmacy licence in Pitmedden.

B999 Health Trust, was to be a community owned enterprise to provide a full professional pharmacy in Pitmedden and use its profits to help health provision in the area including Tarves and Methlick.

They had applied for a pharmacy licence to replace doctors dispensing in Pitmedden by Haddo Medical Group and had the support from the Doctor’s Group Practice as well as overwhelming support within Pitmedden.

We are very disappointed for the people of Pitmedden that an NHS Grampian Committee felt that patients do not deserve a full Pharmaceutical service based in the village” said B999 Spokesperson, Paul Johnston.

We have always taken the view that the local needs of patients should be the priority. The provision of pharmacy services as close to people’s homes as possible and to reduce unnecessary journeys would for our community have been the best outcome.”

Our proposal for a pharmacy was financially viable with the income coming from local patients who currently use the Pitmedden surgery for their dispensed medicines and from the extra pharmacy services we would provide for them.”

That makes the decision not to allow this self sustaining service all the more disappointing. We have always maintained it has no significant effect on other pharmacies who already have their own neighbourhoods.”

The opening of a pharmacy in Pitmedden it was felt, would provide profits to allow doctors to improve their service in Tarves.  As expected, B999 Health Trust directors will be discussing the decision in detail and look closely at its implications. An appeal would have to be considered but regulations only provide for very limited circumstances.


4 thoughts on “NHS says no to Community owned Pitmedden Pharmacy

  1. Excuse me but did Paul actually read the judgment, I read the full minutes of the meeting, try here, http://www.nhsgrampian.com/grampianfoi/files/PPC_B999_20132705.pdf. I cannot believe you would let anyone post this without checking facts, and the facts were that B999 did not do their homework, and it is the community that were let down by the amateurish effort. They thought they could walk in, and try and tug the heart strings and say you have to do it because its for the community.

    Read the judgment, it makes perfect sense, and more importantly it is the law, sentiment does not win the argument, hard facts do. If you read the presentation from Lindsay of Tarves Pharmacy there is a lot of facts that have been addressed when raised as concerns by the people of Tarves and Pimedden, she really did do her home work she countered all their previous points, and those raised during the meeting. The people of Tarves, Methlick, and Pitmedden were let down by B999, plain and simple, ill-prepared and amateurish at best. Read the hearing minutes see what you think after, I did, I can only say after this I do not care if we lose the Surgery because I would rather keep Lindsay and the Pharmacy on this showing. Based on this B999 and HMG do not deserve to keep dispensing rights.

    Time people in the village, and we know there is a growing majority, made it perfectly clear to our so called interested parties what we think of their shenanigans

    1. Hello Jim

      Firstly, the part of the minute you think of is not the judgement. The decision is very brief at the end and they do not minute their discussion. They only minute the representations before, which are very partisan to the commercial interests of those present.

      Secondly, it does not minute what was submitted in written argument.

      Thirdly, the minute is not accurate in our view and I would not conclude from the minute what you have. You start from assumptions that are not the case to make assertions that are are not facts at all as you claim.

      Fourthly. Law. We will differ on this. You take Mr Semple’s line. Fine, but it is not agreed upon and the decision does not take his line either. As I understand it, it takes a different line altogether.

      Finally, you express this issue both before and now in a personal manner, loading personal invective with the ‘argument’. That requires no response, as to resort to insult means there is nothing in real terms to answer. If you recall, I offered to meet and discuss. Resolution was not perhaps what you were looking for.

      If insult is what all volunteers get in helping their communities, one can understand why few come forward at times.

      I think it is important to remember that the provision of a pharmacist within Pitmedden only as a direct replacement for a dispensing doctor is what was asked for. Nothing more.

      Unless you believe that people in Pitmedden are wrong to have a pharmacy in their village and should have nothing at all but pay to travel to get anything such as dispensed medicines (as argued by other pharmacists) then you have ask yourself how a simple direct replacement would be against any existing pharmacy in any other village. They all have neighbourhoods sufficient for their business viability as agreed with them all when they got licences. So that is not our view – its theirs.

      If you want to discuss this, and you have not taken this offer up so far, you are welcome to contact me directly as always. If you continue in the manner I have seen, I can only assume you have a fixed position and I will just have to let you get on grinding your axes.



    2. The content is the responsibility of the correspondent and would only be posted if reasonable. Your response is an opinion on what is a press release and the items in quotes which are the opinions of B999 Health spokesman. The key fact mentioned was that the pharmacy was turned down. There appears no dispute over the facts in the article, just the opinion. Thanks

  2. It is not a question of grinding an axe. It is a question of expressing my frustration over the position that the people of Tarves have been put in. The problem is that if people show support for B999, the inference is that we will keep the surgery. However, based on the Tarves pharmacy presentation, the pharmacy will close. Have you ever thought that the residents of Tarves would prefer both? You said that if B999 was to be granted pharmacy rights, then it would enable the Tarves surgery to open more hours and that would benefit the existing pharmacy. Again the point was made during the PPC meeting that there is not enough business to keep 2 dispensing pharmacies so close together open, and so the Tarves pharmacy would close.

    I am interested purely and objectively in the services that are provided in the village of Tarves. Currently we have an excellent pharmacy and though we have a reduction in the hours of the surgery, at least it is open.

    In response to your comment regarding my ‘fixed’ position, is it not the case that your position is also fixed with your support for B999 and HMG? You hold the position of councillor not only for Pitmedden, but also Tarves, and as was highlighted during the PPC meeting, if B999 gain dispensing rights, the Tarves pharmacy would cease trading and so we would not only lose a business to Tarves, but employment for 3 – 4 people. As our local councilor, should you not be concerned about this.

    Throughout the whole process the residents of Tarves have been put in an intolerable position: this fact has been overlooked by everyone. The impression given is that it is more about regaining the status quo, rather than accommodating a pharmacy and a surgery. Either way it looks like Tarves will lose.

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