Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Patients to Protest over Go-Ahead for Pharmacy; Villagers Fear Approval Will Mean GP Loss

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Patients to Protest over Go-Ahead for Pharmacy; Villagers Fear Approval Will Mean GP Loss

Article excerpt

Byline: Dave Black

PATIENTS in a Northumberland village are preparing a peaceful protest over plans which they fear will lead to the loss of a local surgery.

Scores of people in Widdrington Station near Morpeth are expected to take part in the demonstration at their village practice later this month to greet members of an appeals panel, which will rule on controversial moves to open a local pharmacy.

Patients will hold the protest to demonstrate the strength of local feeling against a decision by health bosses to approve the pharmacy application - despite local fears that it will result in a reduction of existing GP services.

Plans for the demonstration, to be held on Monday, September 29, were discussed at a public meeting attended by about 300 people in the village community centre on Monday night.

It will be staged as members of the NHS Litigation Authority panel visit the Grange Road clinic before holding a two-day hearing into the local appeal against the North of Tyne Primary Care Trust's approval of the pharmacy bid, made by two men from Manchester.

Local campaigners say the future of the 3,000-patient practice is under threat if the chemist's shop is allowed to open, as it will prevent the two GPs from dispensing drugs and medicines to all but 300 of their patients.

Because income from the dispensary is used to subsidise and support the surgery's medical services, campaigners say its loss will result in one of the GPs having to be laid off, and possible closure in the future.

The PCT approved the pharmacy application despite a 1,700-name protest petition and the hearing on September 29 and 30 will deal with an appeal by local GPs Dr Chris Waite and his wife Dr Yvonne Lees.

Yesterday local councillor and patient Arnold Baker said people at this week's public meeting were anxious and fearful about the future of the surgery. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.