Thank you for expanding on your ideas for the pharmacy, but in the report of the health centre of the future, (December 13, 2013), the pharmacy was mentioned but not the pharmacists.
The story read: ‘The innovative plans for the GPs’ own computer system and receptionists working in the pharmacy to streamline efficiency may not now be possible’.
I owned a pharmacy in Ottery St Mary, where in the early 1970s, the practice was the first place in the world to have a computer system to record patient records and print prescriptions. The pharmacists developed systems, without much financial help from the NHS, to serve the patients’ needs – and these were truly innovative then – since nobody else had them. They have all been improved and extended by pharmacists over the years.
You talk of partners nearing retirement having to put their hands in their pockets to subsidise a building for NHS purposes. The site you have chosen is in an area where land values are rising and the health of the nation suggests that centres will be needed more than ever, so therefore should be a good investment.
Spare a thought for pharmacists having to find money for their business. We invest in stock – the price over which we have no control – and keep it in stock for a public service hoping that the doctor will prescribe it again. We are not compensated by anybody when it goes out of date. Just imagine if you have tried to serve the needs of local people and the doctor moves to pastures new, taking his business with him!
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I live in West Hill but, after I retired at 65, I worked as a locum pharmacist across Devon and Somerset for 12 years, and sometimes worked in the Sidmouth pharmacies. They tried their best to help their patients, including delivering medicines to those who are house bound, but they are not paid for it! Will you be offering that service when you take their business?
I do not oppose the idea of an independent pharmacy in the new Stowford Health Centre but I regard the doctors, who are self employed and own the practice as maybe having a conflict of interests when they prescribe drugs, in which they could have a financial interest.
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I see you do not regard this as leapfrogging because it is you that is doing it!
As you say I have already written twice to the Herald to try to put the other side of the proposition of which many people are not aware. Many residents of Sidmouth would find it politic not to upset their doctor.
You ask for those local people who might be using the service to say whether they are supportive of the project. Does this include those people from Sidford and Sidbury who have not got a car and may feel left out?