Sir-- In response to the article "Bitter pill for pharmacy", I would like to put a few facts forward about this issue.
The pharmacy opened in the medical centre without any planning consent or notification to the council. The medical centre has a condition imposed on its 1987 planning permission that the building shall not be used for any other purposes than a GP practice group without consent from the local authority.
This is due to the location being primarily residential. No residents were informed that this pharmacy was going to open, no discussions or written information was given and no notice it would be open for 100 hours, which is six days a week 7am to 12pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 11pm on Saturdays.
No concern for our life and a reasonable expectation of some peace and enjoyment in life. The amount of traffic and parking significantly intensified with delivery vans and people accessing the pharmacy.
The traffic situation and parking at the medical centre is well documented and continues to be an issue.
The photos provided were taken when the pharmacy and practice was running full services and as you can see it is extremely dangerous and unmanageable.
Brinsworth does not need an 100 hour pharmacy when there are 6 pharmacies within a 3 mile radius and two of which open while 9pm that are suitably located away from residential properties.
The pharmacy at the medical centre monopolises the business away from the local community pharmacy which has been greatly affected.
As residents we are not only concerned with parking issues we are concerned about the services the pharmacy will be requested to undertake in the future as it establishes itself, such as needle exchanges and due to it’s late opening times it will be a pharmacy where people who misuse substances will be able to collect their methadone prescriptions.
PCT can request 100 hour pharmacies to provide needle exchanges as identified in their contract. . What needs to be also noted with this situation is that the medical centre denies that the pharmacy is part of their overall services and has deliberately withheld this information from their planning application to demolish the house next door and increase the present building extensively.
The reason for this because the council made it clear they would refuse planning due to serious highway issues and intensification of traffic as well as over development, therefore the practice submitted the present application and omitted the pharmacy’s existence.
This is misleading and dishonest and someone should be taken into account for it. £500.000 of tax payers money is being held by this practice for this development and it is continues to deny the pharmacy exists within their overall plan.
I think it is appalling practice by both the medical centre and PCT for giving support to a falsified application. We as residents have very little say in what happens at this practice but are affected by it on a daily basis.
At the end of the day everyone goes home but we have to continue living with it day in and day out. The practice commenced as a small GP surgery many years ago and now is a huge concern, it has out grown its location and should be re located to another site within the heart of Brinsworth if it needs to extend to the size it is saying it presently needs.
Different sites have been offered but refused, PCT state they have no plan B for Brinsworth so they are investing money that will give no long term return, as they do not own the premises.
There are lots of people against the pharmacy and development and there will be some who do not have any idea this is happening on their door step. We do not oppose development of services however we do oppose trying to cram it in an unfit location and efficiency means running more services alongside each other resulting in more people accessing the surgery and pharmacy at the same time.
The extra five car parking spaces of which two are disabled will not be enough and chaos will ensue. I want to also comment that I found it interesting you decided to take up this story as when I contacted to raise awareness of this issue when the pharmacy first opened, the Advertiser was not interested at all.
I wonder what message that sends and where interests lie for the editors of the paper in letting people know what issues are taking place in Rotherham.
Selective media comes to mind. 100 hour pharmacies can be opened next door to anyone as there are no rules of entry so beware residents as one could open next door to you and the PCT will not be responsible for the licenses they issue.
The pharmacy should be compensating the council because of the amount of work they are having to do in order to stop this business from operating and notices thy have to serve on him to cease of which he takes no notice of.
This is more about making profit from the NHS, as opposed to patient care.