I refer to the article by Ryan Taylor in last week’s edition of The Shetland Times, entitled “New pharmacy is granted the go-ahead”.
I was interested to note that the spokeswoman for NHS Shetland is quoted as saying: “NHS Shetland is committed to working with both the Scalloway Practice and Norsepharm Ltd to ensure both the continuing viability of GP services and the development of a successful pharmacy in the village.” However, conspicuous by its absence is any mention of how the board intends to ensure the viability of the practice.
In the 29th July 2011 issue of this newspaper, Bobby Hunter of Burra Isle made reference to the public meeting held earlier in the year in Scalloway Hall. He wrote: “Simon Boker-Ingram of the health board was unable to give a positive answer to the question of whether the health board would find the money to ensure that the Scalloway surgery would be able to maintain its existing level of service to patients in the event that they lose income from the dispensary.”
In the paper of 21st January this year I also, through Readers’ Views, presented a question to the health board. Since no answer has been forthcoming at that time or since, and in view of the spokeswoman’s recent comments, I wish to take this opportunity to pose the question yet again.
“If the board accepts Norsepharm’s application to set up premises in Scalloway such that the surgery loses its dispensary, with all the attendant fall out, how does Shetland Health Board intend to provide medical and practice nursing services to the 3,000 plus patients currently registered with the Scalloway practice and at no less a standard than is now currently given?”
Both practice and patients eagerly await the board’s answer to this question; as yet unanswered.