Scalloway could soon be in line to house a new pharmacy for the first time in 40 years. NHS Shetland announced today it had received two applications to open chemists in the village.
The main bid comes from a company known as Norsepharm Ltd, which is seeking to open a pharmacy in the centre of Scalloway. Melby Health Ltd, meanwhile, wants to provide pharmacy services at the health centre. A public meeting on the bids will likely be held in Scalloway later this year.
Board member of NHS Shetland Keith Massey will chair a meeting of the pharmacy practice committee, partly made up of members of the public, to discuss the applications. It is likely to be November before the committee has enough information to meet, however.
The health board, meanwhile, is currently gathering views from pharmacies in Lerwick which may be affected by the development.
Director of pharmacy at NHS Shetland Chris Nicolson said: “The PPC will make a site visit to Scalloway to familiarise themselves with Scalloway and the surrounding area.
“The PPC may hear evidence from the area pharmaceutical committee, the area medical committee and any views from local pharmacy contractors before deciding if the current services provided in the neighbourhood are adequate, and whether a pharmacy is necessary or desirable.
“If the pharmacy opens then it is likely that dispensing by doctors in Scalloway would cease.
“In Scalloway Health Centre currently there is no pharmacy, and no pharmacist. Dispensing is undertaken by dispensing assistants.”
There are currently no chemists outside Lerwick, and patients who live in Scalloway and elsewhere in the isles get prescriptions from their local health centre.
In Scalloway the last village pharmacy first opened as a druggist in 1892, before closing its doors for the last time in around 1970.