I am utterly dismayed and angered by the recent decision taken by the Shetland Pharmacy Practices Committee to grant permission to Norsepharm to open a new pharmacy in Scalloway.
This committee and the advisory officers from NHS Shetland should be ashamed of themselves. Not only have they revealed what a complete sham this consultation process has really been all along, but they have insulted and patronised the many members of the community who have so eloquently and emphatically articulated their extremely clear reasons why this pharmacy is not necessary.
The committee has had the audacity to suggest that our concerns were “predominantly centred on the future of the Scalloway surgery rather than an objection to the provision of pharmacy service”. We have made our objections on the best information we had available. On 1st February I tried to get information about this application from NHS Shetland prior to the closing date for the consultation. I was told the public could not have access to the application because parts are “commercial in confidence”.
There are many reasons to object to this pharmacy over and above the detrimental effect it will have on our fantastic health centre. I have subsequently learned that in addition to the opening hours being less than what we currently enjoy through the dispensary, Norsepharm will only provide refills for 30 days. This change is huge and poses significant knock-on effects. It will not be merely inconvenient, it will unnecessarily increase traffic in an already congested area, doubling travel costs, exacerbating environmental pollution and noise.
I honestly see no sense in this decision which flies in the face of common sense. It makes me wonder what hidden agendas lie beneath this utterly insane and totally demoralising process.