Relocation, Relocation, Relocation1 December, 2015
Whether you wish to move your pharmacy or object to a pharmacy moving nearby, there are a number of factors to be considered. Dino Sikkel, a solicitor in our healthcare team, discusses below some of the key issues.
NHS England consider a number of specific criteria when deciding whether to accept or refuse an application for the proposed relocation of a pharmacy but, in general, they will be looking out for the impact that a proposed relocation will have on patient groups and the provision of pharmaceutical services in the area.
What the impact might be will depend on a multitude of factors but, as a starting point, it is always helpful to look at the geography of the area, the layout of the roads/buildings in the area, a consideration of the patient groups being catered for and accessibility (for example the availability of public transport and parking spaces). There is nothing like a site visit to make these assessments but in other cases vital information can be obtained by reviewing Google maps and Google street view.
We were recently instructed to object to the proposed relocation of a Pharmacy where the proposed new site was a short distance away from its current location. Despite this short distance, it became clear, after looking at Google street view that the layout of the roads, the availability of disabled parking and access to assisted crossings had meant that vulnerable patient groups who often used the pharmacy (such as disabled patients or parents with young children) would find the relocation presented more barriers than first met the eye.
With regard to the impact on pharmaceutical services, you must consider the application in detail to see if there will be an interruption or change to the provision of services by the applicant and assess how this will have an impact on patient groups or pharmacies in the area. For example, if the pharmacy is in an area with a high proportion of elderly residents (and this data can be gleaned from the most recent census data) there may be good reason to object if the services that will be provided at the new site or the opening hours will be more suitable for younger patients.
These represent only a couple of the issues that should be considered and, ultimately, the strength of an objection or application will need to be determined on a case by case basis. If you would like to discuss any issues with Dino please contact him at email@example.com.