New pharmacy plan at Balmullo surgery
New pharmacy plan at Balmullo surgery: the controversy surrounding the new pharmacy that's set to open in Leuchars post office has taken a new twist as it emerged this week that yet another application has been lodged - this time for a facility in Balmullo.
Raymond Kelly of the Falkland-based Lomond Pharmacy has applied to Fife Health Board to open a pharmacy within the doctors' surgery run by two local GPs, Bryan Johnston and John Salamonski, whose practice serves Balmullo, Leuchars and Guardbridge.
The application was received on the same day as the NHS National Appeals Panel met to make its crunch decision about the fate of the proposed pharmacy in Leuchars, which was subsequently given the go-ahead amid a storm of protest.
Opponents had been campaigning for months against the pharmacy, which they say could jeopardise the doctors' existing dispensing services and ultimately lead to the closure of one or both of their surgeries.
They also maintain that the post office premises are unsuitable for such a venture.
Now the boot appears to be on the other foot as the pharmacist at the centre of the furore, James Semple, of Fraser, MacPherson and Partners, has been notified of the new application as an 'interested party' - and has lodged an objection to the plans.
However, he stressed that had the National Appeals Panel turned his own application down he would have supported the proposal, as he still maintains that Leuchars and Balmullo need a pharmaceutical service.
But he said that when his pharmacy opens in Leuchars the service in Balmullo could not be considered as 'inadequate'.
"If the applicants go ahead with the application then they will argue that they need to replace the Balmullo dispensary with a pharmacy," said Mr Semple.
"This would be woolly-thinking. The only relevant question is whether a small village like Balmullo needs a pharmacy when there is one a mile down the road - and the answer to that question will probably be 'no'."
Mr Kelly confirmed that he had submitted an application to NHS Fife to open a pharmacy using space rented from the doctors, but declined to comment further while the consultation period was under way.
It's thought that a decision could be made as early as the middle of this month.
Source: fifetoday.co.uk, 7 January 2010.
By Liz Rougvie