SPITTAL is to finally get its much-needed chemist after an appeals panel granted it permission to open.
Over the past year the Reformer has reported on the efforts of David Dryden and Michael Balmer, and their bid to try and open a chemist’s premises at 16 Kyle Square in Spittal.
They were originally given the go ahead by a Pharmacy Practices Committee, but rival chemists in Croftfoot and Burnside had their appeal upheld by a National Appeal Panel, who concluded there was no need for the service in Spittal.
A second practices committee concluded against the applicants, despite no new evidence being provided.
Their appealed against the decision of the Pharmacy Practices Committee of the Greater Glasgow Health Board which met on February 4 this year, with the appeal being heard on June 30.
And now they’ve been given the go-ahead to open the pharmacy.
The pair said: “We’re absolutely delighted about it.
“We would like to thank everyone in the community who has supported us, especially James Kelly MSP.”
James Kelly added: “I’m absolutely delighted at the outcome. This is a victory for people power.
“A big factor in this decision was the people of Spittal getting right behind the campaign, by returning nearly 500 postcards in support of the bid.
“I want to thank Yvonne Harton, secretary of the Tenants and Community Association, and all the committee, for all the work they did in building support and I want to congratulate Michael and David.
“They stuck at it and kept going, and I always felt if they got a fair hearing they would get a successful outcome, and I’ve been proven correct.
“I wish them well for the future and I’m sure there pharmacy will be a big success in Spittal.
“Finally, I want to pay tribute to the Reformer for the way they got behind the campaign and very much backed up David and Michael, and that’s a good example of now a newspaper can support and work with its local community.”
As part of their deliberations, the NAP had to firstly define the area that the Spittal pharmacy would serve.
The panel noted that: “The Spittal area and the Croftfoot area were the responsibility of two different local authorities, Glasgow and Lanarkshire. Spittal had its own local services, including a school and church.
“Croftfoot and Spittal were two distinct communities, despite having similar housing types.”
Having reached that decision, the panel was then required to consider the adequacy of existing pharmaceutical services in that
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neighbourhood, and whether the granting of the application was necessary or desirable in order to secure adequate provision of pharmaceutical services in the neighbourhood.
The repot said: “Within the neighbourhood, as defined by the panel, it was noted that there were no existing contract pharmacies.
“There were several pharmacies outwith the defined neighbourhood, which given the terrain and distances could only reasonably be accessed by using public or private transport.
“The distances to the pharmacies were not suitable for walking by the elderly or mothers with young children.
“The new contract services were not available to the neighbourhood population as planned as the resident population currently had to travel to the vicinity of their GP to obtain pharmaceutical services.
“The panel considered that the existing pharmaceutical service provision to the population of Spittal was not adequate.
“The panel accepted that pharmaceutical services were available to those presently resident in the Spittal area but the level of services provided, were inadequate.
“Granting of the contract would result in an over-provision of pharmaceutical services but it considered that it would still be desirable to grant the application in order to secure adequacy.
“In the circumstances, it was the decision of the panel that the appeal be upheld.”
Now the appeal has been granted, it is hoped the pharmacy will open within the next few months.