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Rejection, delay - five years on and pharmacy in Scotland still waits to open


Rejection, delay - five years on and pharmacy in Scotland still waits to open

A pharmacist who first submitted an application to open a pharmacy in an underutilised community centre in a Scottish village five years ago is still waiting.

Lisa Duncan told Saline Community Council she wanted to run a pharmacy on the site in 2019 but an NHS Fife Pharmacy Practices Committee (PPC) hearing to decide the matter in 2020 was postponed until March 2022 because of the Covid pandemic.

Planning permission was granted by Fife Council that year but the PPC rejected her application. Duncan launched an appeal and won in June last year but the pharmacy group Dears, which runs a pharmacy in the nearby village of Oakley, appealed against that decision.

Duncan had been supported by the council, who said the pharmacy in Saline was needed because people in the area had to travel to Oakley which was not easy as many of them were reliant on “irregular, unreliable and, most significantly, expensive” public transport.

“It is more than 30 years since there was a doctors’ surgery in Saline and people have to travel to Oakley to have a face to face meeting with a medical professional,” Saline Community Council said in a statement.

“The service offered by the Oakley pharmacy has improved significantly over the last few years but that does not overcome the obstacle of having to travel to it.”

However, there is a glimmer of hope for Duncan as her case is set to be determined the National Appeal Panel which has just appointed a chair having gone about a year without one.

She told the Dunfermline Press: “At the minute we have not been given any timescales on when appeals will be processed but hopefully we’ll know more in the next month or so.

“Although frustrating for me it’s even more frustrating for the residents of Saline and Steelend who have supported the pharmacy application from the outset and now have to wait while the appeals process is completed.”


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