An announcement that Haddo Medical practice is to close its Tarves surgery and cut back opening times at Methlick as well as effective removal of dispensing at Pitmedden surgery has been greeted with anger by local Democratic Independent & Green Group councillor Paul Johnston. As a local Councillor, he has been working with the three Community Councils to keep dispensing in Pitmedden and protect the Surgeries at Tarves and Udny.
“This is the outcome most feared at the very beginning when Semple & Semple, an aggressive pharmacy company applied for its Pharmacy at Tarves. NHS Grampian were mugged several times and failed to have any coherent response despite being offered one on several occasions.”“Their decision to withdraw dispensing to so many patients has led to the inevitable closure of Tarves surgery and we feared for the closure of Methlick. At least for the present Methlick will be kept albeit on reduced hours”
Councillor Johnston said that the NHS had been panicked into a ‘bizarre decision’ that said if any patient had ‘access to a car’, they had no serious difficulty in getting medicines, effectively anywhere, and were not to have doctors dispensing their acute medicines. By removing these patients service, it makes dispensing at practices completely unviable.
“This will seal the fate for other doctors practices being able to dispense acute medicines to patients at their rural surgeries. In particular, with dispensing withdrawn, I believe it will be just a matter of time before Udny Station surgery will close as well.”“We warned at the very beginning that this withdrawal of dispensing will reduce GP coverage. We are proved right and it will cost the NHS moreas well. That’s more cost for less service in order to pay for a private chemists business to exploit the NHS regulations”“Patients in the area should know that our local MSP has let us down. Mr Salmond has failed to protect the practice and has proved unable, despite being first minister at the time, to get the principles of putting patients first in the NHS protected.”“As a local Councillor, I already get the feedback that Mr Salmond still has to prove that our health service is safe in his hands. Others, I hope will take up the case.”