Plans to open a new pharmacy in Levenwick have come to a halt because of a shortfall in funds.
Last year LP Health Ltd, run by doctors Mark Maudsley and Aileen Brown, applied to open a pharmacy within the village’s health centre to help satisfy growing demand in the South Mainland. However, the proposal is now being stopped because it is no longer financially viable.
In contrast, a similar proposal for Brae, which was made public at the same time as the still-born Levenwick development, is progressing well. The necessary alterations are being made to the Brae Health Centre, and the new pharmacy is on course to be open by the end of the summer.
NHS Shetland head of pharmacy Chris Nicolson said plans for the South Mainland development had emerged last July. The Brae proposal was put forward at the same time, as was as a third suggestion for a Scalloway pharmacy.
Mr Nicolson said: “In July last year there were three applications that went to the Pharmaceutical Practices Committee. The Brae one is going ahead and is at an advanced stage where pharmacists are now being recruited.
“The Scalloway one was turned down because Norsepharm [an alternative proposal] was planning to build in the area. The Levenwick one was approved, but they have gone back to us to say they no longer wish to open a pharmacy.”
The decision means demand for a pharmacy in the South Mainland has so far not been met. But Mr Nicolson said the door was still open for an alternative proposal to be made.
“The Pharmaceutical Practices Committee felt it was necessary and desirable to have a pharmacy in the Levenwick area, so that still stands as far as the judgment goes, but Levenwick doctors who were going to open it have decided they don’t want to do it any more.” Mr Nicolson said the health centre would carry on dispensing medicine.
The Dunrossness Community Council was recently told of the news. Members heard NHS Shetland is currently developing a pharmaceutical care services plan, which will outline were future pharmacies may be situated. Over the coming months the community council will be able to contribute to the document.