Community Pharmacy application rejected

A controversial application for a Community Pharmacy in Balivanich has been rejected by the Pharmacy Practices Committee at NHS Western Isles.

The decision has been welcomed by local politicians.

Western Isles MSP Alasdair Allan said: “Although this process has exposed weaknesses in the legislation surrounding applications for Community Pharmacies, my submission to the Pharmacy Practices Committee stated my view that there remained sufficient scope for this application to be rejected.

“I am pleased that the committee have agreed, and that the representations made so widely, and forcefully, by the community have been accepted. Credit should also be given to NHS Western Isles for the thorough manner in which it conducted the public consultation.

“The Cabinet Secretary for Health has been also been kept aware of developments throughout, and has confirmed that the regulations will be amended as soon as is practically possible to take account of circumstances such as were faced in this instance. Although the Scottish Government remains committed to the principle of ensuring access to pharmaceutical services, it is clear that this must not be at the cost of destabilising the services already in place.

“I am mindful that the concerns and uncertainty in the community will not be entirely allayed until the deadline for a possible appeal passes. However, given the community’s widespread rejection of the proposal, I hope that the applicant will be dissuaded from this option.

Angus MacNeil MP said: “I am glad that the committee have agreed to reject this application and that everyone’s pressure and lobbying has paid off. This is the right decision but we have to go to the Scottish Government to ensure that the possibility of this does not arise again and that health concerns are always paramount before business concerns.”

“I applaud the community’s efforts in this process, the GPs who contacted me and the medical practices who are currently delivering the best possible service.”