I share the frustration of many constituents with local pharmacies – Colin Beattie

Monday April 18th 2022

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

In my previous columns, I have made reference to the ongoing situation my constituents experience with pharmacies services in Bonnyrigg.

I share the frustration of many constituents, especially those in Rosewell who were denied the opportunity to have their own pharmacy / healthcare facility to accommodate the growing population and decrease the travel time to a local pharmacy. This is not simply about convenience, it is about access to basic healthcare. The rejection of the pharmacy application was purely to appease the large pharmaceutical companies and did not take the community into account whatsoever. These companies gave the committee the impression that the service currently provided is adequate and meets the needs of all users – I know differently from conversations and communications I have received from my constituents.

Going forward, these large pharmaceutical companies need to be held to account during these hearings and I believe in this case, NHS Lothian’s Pharmacy Practices Committee have made entirely the wrong decision and need to address the systemic issue of allowing these larger companies to have a monopoly over independent pharmacies who want to provide a service to a community.

I have written to the pharmacies in Bonnyrigg asking for an explanation and an action plan to address the issues for my constituents. The responses received were interesting. Two pharmacies agreed there were issues and are implementing an action plan to remedy the issues with one other pharmacy simply denying there were any problems whatsoever. I know this is not the case.

I wrote to NHS Lothian directly to address these problems to which I am still awaiting response. I know I am not alone in my concerns with many sharing this frustration. If my constituents would like to share their experiences with me, please do contact me at Colin.Beattie.MSP@parliament.scot or book an appointment for my next surgery at Dalkeith Library.

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