A SPOKESWOMAN for Tarves Pharmacy has urged local residents having difficulty collecting their prescriptions to contact her.
Pharmacist Lindsay Craig - who runs the facility - told the Times that Tarves Pharmacy was happy to deliver pharmacy prescriptions, saving residents a potentially difficult journey to Pitmedden.
Last week’s Times reported on actions by local campaigners to highlight the difficulty of getting to the Pitmedden for doctors’ appointments - and picking up prescriptions. However, Ms Craig says there is no need for those with mobility difficulties to make this journey.
“We’re more than happy to deliver prescriptions to our customers,” she told the Times. “It’s a free service, and there’s no limits on the number of deliveries we can make. We’re already distributing in Barthol Chapel and Udny, and we have invested in a vehicle which can tackle the local terrain in difficult weather. We’re about to undertake a leaflet drop for those who don’t know, but it is a service we have been offering since the pharmacy opened.”
The pharmacy has previously come in for criticism from local campaigners who blame the shop’s opening for the demise of the Tarves surgery, after dispensing rights were withdrawn from Haddo Medical Group. The group contend that without dispensing rights, the surgery was not financially viable.
Nonetheless, the announcement on Tuesday that the group’s Pitmedden surgery HQ will be able to retain dispensing rights has raised local hopes that the Tarves surgery may re-open, without dispensing in the village.
However, Ms Craig defended the pharmacy’s position, saying that she and her staff were continuing to offer many of the services that the Tarves surgery had previously offered.
She said: “We can help with many everyday ailments which people would have previously attended the doctors for. We offer the NHS Minor Ailments service, which means we can offer professionally trained advice and solutions to minor ailments, as well as the Chronic Medication Service, which lets patients with long-term conditions register to receive a more individualised treatment programme.”
She added that her pharmacy was not lobbying for the cessation of dispensing in Pitmedden, and that the operation would remain focussed on Tarves and the surrounding area.
“Our operation is in Tarves, and that is where our services are focussed,” she said. “We already employ two members of staff, and are looking to expand with a full-time delivery driver given the scale of demand we are dealing with. There has been a good uptake on home deliveries, and a large number of local residents are taking advantage of the services we offer.”