Dismay at Leuchars pharmacy green light
People in Leuchars and Balmullo have reacted with dismay to the news that a community pharmacy based in Leuchars post office has been given the green light.
The NHS National Appeals Panel has upheld a decision by NHS Fife to give the go-ahead to pharmacists Fraser MacPherson and Part-ners to open the facility.
Local GPs had lodged an appeal amid claims that the venture could adversely affect their surgeries in Leuchars and Balmullo, as they currently provide a dispensing service.
A campaign group known as SODS - Save Our Dispensing Surgeries - was also set up to oppose the application.
However, opponents of the application were left devastated by the result of the appeals panel's deliberations.
Carroll Finnie, chair of Leuchars Community Council, described it as a "dark day for democracy".
Warning that Leuchars surgery may have to close, she claimed that the community pharmacy would be an "extremely poor substitute."
Ms Finnie went on: "We would like answers to the questions posed of the relevant parties leading up to the appeal, in particular why permission was granted for a pharmacy in the first place, when only a few weeks prior to the application being made a similar proposal had been turned down."
North East Fife MP, Sir Menzies Campbell said: "This is a profoundly disappointing and perverse decision which flies in the face of all logic and the collective opinion of the community.
"The decision itself may well be susceptible to judicial review on the grounds that no reasonable tribunal could have reached it.
"The campaign group fought a sensible and well argued campaign for which they have received no reward."
Source: fifetoday.co.uk, 29 December 2009.