Go-ahead for new village pharmacy

By Jonathan BarnesA MEDICAL surgery is to appeal against a decision to give the go-ahead to new village pharmacy.The Suffolk Practitioners' Services Unit announced last night it had approved an application for a pharmacy in Holbrook.

By Jonathan Barnes

A MEDICAL surgery is to appeal against a decision to give the go-ahead to new village pharmacy.

The Suffolk Practitioners' Services Unit announced last night it had approved an application for a pharmacy in Holbrook.

But doctors from Shotley Peninsula's GP practice claimed the move would cost them vital income, affect the standard of services and could lead to the closures of one of its two surgeries, in Holbrook and Shotley.


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Last night, Dr John Carey, from the GPs' practice, said it would be appealing against the decision, which he called “extraordinary”.

He added: “It's an incredible situation - the residents of Holbrook and neighbouring villages have been very, very adamant that they do not want there to be a pharmacy in the village and have made that clear to the health authority.

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“In spite of that, and in spite of the fact we would be unable to provide a proper provision of medical services, they have decided to grant the application unless we appeal.

“It is extraordinary in a democratic society and at a time when the Government should be protecting rural services. The partnership will be discussing this and I'm sure we will be appealing.”

The Suffolk Practitioners' Services Unit released a statement detailing the decision of its pharmacy and dispensing sub-committee, which heard arguments from both sides at a meeting on November 12.

“The committee decided to approve the first stage of the application to open a pharmacy in Holbrook because they felt that, from the information made available to them, it would not significantly adversely affect existing medical services in the area, although they did accept that there may be some effect on the local surgery,” it said.

“There are currently no other pharmaceutical services in the area, so there could be no effect on these.”

It added committee members “appreciated there was a high level of concern in Holbrook and surrounding parishes and were also aware of the petition and very large number of letters of objection which had been received”.

The statement concluded: “The GP practice can appeal to the Family Health Services Appeal Authority against this decision to approve the first stage of the application and have been advised as to how they might go about this.”

The application was put forward by Maplewood Investments Ltd, of Ipswich.

If it is successful, anyone living within a one-mile radius of the new pharmacy would no longer be able to obtain their prescriptions from the GPs' surgery.

jonathan.barnes@eadt.co.uk

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