Thursday, 28 July 2011

Hundred hour pharmacies to strike Medway!

In Sturdee avenue - the closest to home I've ever had to write- the local pharmacy is preparing for a battering from a proposed Hundred hour pharmacy opening at the Woodlands Medical centre. The owners believe such a place would spell an end to the small pharmacy/ post office and would rip the heart out of the community. A flyer put through my door stated we couldn't allow what happened at Livingston Circus happen in Sturdee with the loss of Greengrocers and butchers.
Well, the greengrocers went when I was a boy of 8 and I don't recall a butchers, also I think Tesco probably did that with the Metro store next to the pharmacy. As for the heart of the community I cannot comment as I rarely use the pharmacy. However a while ago my daughter, Sophie, was really ill - maybe that's an exaggeration as a concerned first time father but she couldn't keep anything down, even water so at 5pm, unable to get a doctor's appointment we headed fro the NHS drop in centre. Armed with a prescription at 6.30 we went looking for an open pharmacy unaware there was one in Balmoral gardens. We had to spend a tense evening hoping she would be alright until first thing.
How much easier would it have been to have an open pharmacy just around the corner?
I do not like to see Local business collapse but I also need to be able to use a pharmacy and when I am not getting back from work until 8pm (having left at 8 am) what am I to do?
Also if you read the article in the KM and think this scenario is the same as one Chris Small (30) of Sturdee avenue... you'd be right. - he is me. Slight typo!

However, on the other side of the coin:

In Strood two 100 hour pharmacies have been proposed in Gun Lane and St Mary's medical centres, which will affect trade at the Bryant road and Williams Pharmacy. Diana Sands, an employee at Bryant road said.

Doctors just want to profit from it. They will be the landlords and the Pharmacies will pay them rent.
It is a blow to hear one surgery wanted a hundred hour pharmacy, then a few weeks after there was another one. We don't need them! (Quoted from KM Report by D-Bloom and R Hughes 22-7-11)

There is an odd loophole that states that when applying for the planning permission a pharmacy doesn't need to prove "Local need" as long as they are open for 100 hours. This is a definite unfair loophole and Mark Reckless MP for Rochester and Strood is looking into this. I do agree, this loop hole must be closed as this is unfair on local buisness that could be providing an adequate job at servicing the community.

To a degree these pharmacies are providing unfair competition to the original pharmacies but the landscape of shopping is changing - no longer does my wife sit at home able to do the shopping and pick up my prescriptions whilst I am working. She has to work too around looking after Sophie. Modern consumers want places open when they want to shop not when the shops are open, also for convenience it makes sense for a medical centre to dispense the medicine you need rather than have to go across town to a pharmacy. Time now equals money in value for the working people of England. I know it does for me!

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