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Felixstowe: Pharmacy refusal is blow to health centre project

14:00 14 February 2013

An artist

An artist's impression of the new Grove Medical Centre at Felixstowe - hopes of a pharmacy in the building are in doubt after an application was refused.

Archant

DOCTORS’ proposals for a new £1million medical centre on the edge of Felixstowe have been dealt a blow with the refusal of a pharmacy on the site.

NHS Suffolk had given the pharmacy approval but its decision was the subject of an appeal by Boots and Morrisons, which both have chemists in the town.

Now the NHS Litigation Authority has allowed the appeals – and decided the pharmacy is not necessary and the neighbourhood already has adequate provision of such services.

It is not known if a new application would succeed or simply prompt a fresh appeal.

When councillors approved the medical centre last year, they were told the pharmacy was a vital element of the project and would open for 100 hours a week initially, though opening times would reduce once usage pattern was established.

NHS Suffolk today confirmed that its board’s decision to provide finance – money from the sale of the Bartlet Hospital – for the new medical centre still stood.

Preliminary work has also started on site in Grove Road, next to The Grove and Abbey Grove woodlands.

Rushport Advisory LLP applied for the pharmacy at the medical centre, which will replace the 16,000-patient Central Surgery, Hamilton Road, which has been described as Suffolk’s “poorest quality surgery premises” – cramped, cold, decaying and leaking.

NHS Suffolk agreed the application after being told all the other surgeries in Felixstowe had chemists either attached or close by, and the Old Felixstowe area had no pharmacy.

However, Boots and Morrison then lodged appeals.

Boots said there were four pharmacies within 1.5km of the new medical centre – a fifth has since opened – and one of those just 600m away. It said NHS Suffolk had considered the town’s south-east ward as the catchment when the centre is in the east ward, where 86% of households own cars and 33% of them two cars and most people visit Hamilton Road regularly for shopping.

Morrisons said the addition of yet another chemist could have a severe impact on others in the area and lead to closures. Services should be sited where people go about their daily lives rather than on the edge of town.

No-one was available for comment at Central Surgery.

14 comments

  • Sorry cwayconslt and anyone else. Don't know how or why that happened unless it is fibre optic Internet speed to blame.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • Im not sure that I agree with the new surgery building project, but that aside, surely the pharmacy onsite makes sense. One of the ideas of the new building is that it is more easily accessible as on the outskirts of the town centre but still near enough to walk to service that part of town. So people will go there on foot or by car then have to walk or drive in to town to fill their prescription. I would have thought that the most affected by this proposal would be the Co-Op pharmacy as they are nearly next door to the current surgery, but it doesn’t appear that they have complained. Boots pharmacy is next door (same building) to Howard House surgery and Morrisons benefits from their own footfall and the surgery next door. Its Co-Op that will loose out. It makes sense to have one attached to the surgery, if you are not feeling well then you don’t want to have to trot off somewhere else, especially if its young children that have just seen the GP and need the medicine. When will these people (NHS Litigation Authority in this case) look at things in a pragmatic way and not worry about which of the large chains it might annoy with its decisions. If Morrisons don’t like a bit of competition then im sure we were fine with the supermarket and pharmacy we had before they set up shop.

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Temporary buildings have been installed at the Central surgery to provide an on site pharmacy so presumably it will be transferred to the new site.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • I do not understand why people are moaning.There are alot of doctors surgeries that do not have pharmacies.Mine is one of them.

    Report this comment

    DT

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Hang your heads in shame Boots and Morrisons - so now the elderly and infirm will have to drag themselves from the surgery down into town when, quite obviously, they are ill and not in a fit state to do this. A shameful, mercenary decision by two national chains who should know better. So much for these large businesses caring about their customers - obviously they value profit over health.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • I wish to add another twist to this tale. The Central Surgery is currently erecting a portakabin-style building in its car park. When asked, the staff informed me that this building will be a pharmacy. So...how do we like those potatoes then?

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • What has it got to do with Morrisons they are no where near the surgery. It is all going to be a disaster. The people of Felixstowe will never be happy.

    Report this comment

    biggles the pilot

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • We heard you first time, DALINE !!

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Sunday, February 17, 2013

  • Well DT, if you had had to take a child, a 97 year old and then your spouse on 3 separate occasions to the surgery last week, all of whom were quite ill, all of whom needed prescriptions, perhaps u might understand why a pharmacy on the premises (just like in the other surgery in Fxstw which has a Boots in the building and the new surgery in Woodbridge) is such a help.

    Report this comment

    paul

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • Temporary buildings have been installed at the Central surgery to provide an on site pharmacy so presumably it will be transferred to the new site.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Saturday, February 16, 2013

  • I don't think the doctor surgey itself should get planning permisssion. Yes i understand that they have outgrown there present site but where they propose to build it is wrong. Instead of building on the edge of Felixstowe on the start of our very important countryside with no direct bus route wouldn't it make more sense to build where we are planning to build new house etc on Walton High street where it would have a direct bus route and make it much easier for patients to get to if they don't have access to there own vechile. Seems common sense.

    Report this comment

    Jacqueline Norlem

    Thursday, February 14, 2013

  • Sorry cwayconslt and anyone else. Don't know how or why that happened unless it is fibre optic Internet speed to blame.

    Report this comment

    DALINE

    Tuesday, February 19, 2013

  • I don’t agree with the location (like Jacqueline Norlem below) but it has already been agreed and ground has been broker, so we move on. But since it has been agreed lets make the best use of the building and allow the pharmacy, it just makes sense!

    Report this comment

    Homeofstowe

    Friday, February 15, 2013

  • Ah, but, you see, Jacqueline Norlem, common sense is not so common when it comes to councils and planning.

    Report this comment

    cwayconslt

    Friday, February 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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