Tom Blenkinsop’s ‘growing irritation’ over foot dragging by local PCT to see the re-opening of Skelton dispensing chemist

Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, today (25th September 2012) voiced what he called ‘growing irritation’ over the catalogue of delays caused by the local NHS Primary Care Service in completing the paperwork needed to allow a dispensing chemists to re-open an outlet at the Skelton Medical Centre in East Cleveland.

Tom said:
“This whole saga has been going on for months. After eventually agreeing that the manager of the nearby Lingdale Pharmacy could go ahead with the project, there has been constant feet-dragging by senior PCT officers in actually allowing this to happen in practice.  After badgering the PCT Chief Executive I did eventually get a grudging letter telling me ‘matters were making progress’ which allowed me to tell Mr Zulkifar Rafiq, the Pharmacy Manager, that things looked hopeful.

“However I now learn that despite further approaches by Mr Rafiq to the PCT, and the promise that a letter with full terms and conditions would be sent to him. We are still nowhere nearer. This horrifies me, as, under the coalition plans for the re-organisation of the local NHS, the work of the Teesside PCT’s is due to be wound up in the next two months or so.

“People in Skelton, as well as the local GP practice, nurses and the NHS dentist on site at the Medical Centre, desperately want this to go ahead. We cannot contemplate this entire matter being put once again on the back burner by the successor body to the PCT. I have therefore written a strong letter to the PCT Chief Executive warning that, unless action is taken to speed things up, I will be taking the entire issue to the new Secretary of State for health, Jeremy Hunt, and also seeking an adjournment debate on the handling of this saga on the floor of the House of Commons. The need for this service is too precious for it to be left in the bureaucratic long grass.”

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