Irrational refusal

I have read with interest the recent Herald articles and subsequent readers’ letters reacting to the welcome news of the proposed new health centre at Stowford gaining planning consent.

However, the refusal of the licensing body to grant permission for an integral independent pharmacy is difficult to understand. From a patient’s point of view it does not seem rational.

National pharmaceutical companies not surprisingly tend to locate their outlets in close proximity to surgeries, as is the case in Sidmouth and Sidford.

The major food retailers in recent years have increasingly devoted selling space to clothing and white goods.

And as can be seen at both Honiton and Seaton, a pharmacy facility has further extended the range on offer to customers, reflecting the belief that a one-stop facility is high on the list of customer priorities.

Surely it is clear that given the Stowford location, patient needs will be best met by an on-site pharmacy, thus affording a one-stop facility. In addition, a pharmacy with staff under the direct control of the practice, aided by an integrated computer system, must also be in the best interests of patients.

For the above reasons it is difficult to understand the initial decision of the licensing body – and thus quite understandable that an appeal by the practice is pending, hopefully with a just and successful outcome.

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David Thorneley

Sidmouth