Grampian NHS have invited the three community Councils of Tarves, Methlick and Udny to a meeting to discuss a public consultation process for the review of primary GP healthcare in the area covered by Haddo Medical Group.
The meeting is certain to raise the prospect of a possible closure of the Tarves surgery that was feared by the Community Councils when the NHS in Grampian approved a new Pharmacy in Tarves. The new Pharmacy had later sought the removal of dispensing at all of the Haddo Medical Group’s three surgeries. NHS Grampian then agreed to withdraw the right of the practice to dispense medicines at Tarves and Pitmedden surgeries and severely curtail them at Methlick.
Originally, NHS Grampian planned a consultative meeting during the holidays but have since delayed until checking with the local groups about when best to meet local people concerned.
Bob Davidson, Chairman of Tarves Community Council said:
“It is important that a local meeting is held only once people have had reasonable notice and when the majority are able to attend. The Community Councils are seeking to get the NHS to meet local people as soon as practical when in the week that schools return.”
“Everyone has long been concerned. It was a worst case scenario if there was a decision to allow the Pharmacy to open and then stop dispensing at the Surgeries.” said Mr Davidson.
A brief meeting between NHS staff and members of the Community Councils is scheduled for next Monday and will be to discuss the process and how it will be run. All three Community Councils have sent a joint letter to MSP Alex Salmond asking him to intervene to reverse a decision described as ‘perverse’
The local Group Practice is thought to be being forced financially to opt for closure.
Commenting on the possible closure of Tarves Surgery, Local Aberdeenshire Councillor Paul Johnston said:
“A possible closure was predicted. The fear was it would happen if the review of pharmacy services done by NHS Grampian removed dispensing at Tarves and Pitmedden in Udny. ”
“The decision by the NHS has been questioned by everyone locally and all the Community Councils have made a good case as to why this decision is perverse as they described it and why the minister Nicola Sturgeon should reverse it.”
“The pain of losing the Tarves surgery will be very real locally – I hope that the public engagement meeting in August can explain what can be done and perhaps the national politicians can answer local concerns by then” said Paul.
“I doubt local people will blame the local doctors for any possible closure as the loss of the dispensing will have savagely altered the finances of running their surgeries. The issue remains the utterly stupid decision about pharmacy services in the first place.”
“The public meeting may be about making the best of an appalling job.”