Pharmacies could close following review

NHS Grampian
NHS Grampian

NHS Grampian is to conduct a review of six dispensing GP practices including those at Rhynie, Skene and Udny Station.

The review includes a public consultation which will run from until Saturday, October 1.

Following the review of dispensing by the Haddo Medical Group completed in 2015, the Grampian NHS Board accepted a recommendation to conduct a review of general practice dispensing across Grampian.

This review would assure the Board that, where a Medical Practice has been required to dispense, this is in line with existing regulations.

The review is triggered by the need to make sure that the Board is continuing to act legally in requiring these GP Practices to dispense for their patients.

The Board can only legally require a practice to dispense for patients who have a serious difficulty in accessing prescribed medicines and appliances from a pharmacy.

The term serious difficulty is not defined but the Board can consider the distance to the nearest community pharmacy, issues of communication and other exceptional circumstances.

The review will therefore seek to determine which patients of each of the associated practices continue to have serious difficulty in accessing prescribed medicines and appliances from a pharmacy.

The review will also seek to establish the overall impact of any potential changes on the practices involved with the aim of ensuring sustainability and a cross-system approach.

Patients who currently get their medicines at one of the practices in the review are asked to take part in the online survey.

NHS Grampian would also like to hear from organisations and individuals who represent the local communities served by the practices and the independent contractors that provide services to these communities.

NHS Grampian currently has nine dispensing practices.

The other three GP practices involved in the review are Auchenblae, Gardenstown and Portlethen.

NHS Grampian has excluded the practices at Tomintoul, Glenvliet and Strathdon as they believe patients living within the practice boundaries have serious difficulties accessing community pharmacies based on the distance to the nearest pharmacy.

The online survey is available by visiting www.nhsgrampian.org/involvingyou - once there simply click on ‘Projects and Consultations’.