A good piece of local East Cleveland news was made recently when local Labour MP, Tom Blenkinsop, officially opened the new Skelton Pharmacy.
The pharmacy is sited in the same building as the Skelton Medical Centre, and partners the GP practice, the community nurse practitioner service and the NHS dentists practice already based in the building on Bylands Road.
“Over the last 6 months I have been involved in a long battle to help the Pharmacy managers, who already run the popular and thriving Lingdale Pharmacy, get the business up and running. The problem was that the practice needed prior approval from the local NHS Primary Care Trust and, thanks to the ill thought out and divisive new structure being imposed on the NHS by the Coalition Government; the PCT was already winding up its affairs and lacked the capability to sanction this approval. It was only after energetic lobbying and local press coverage – with Coastal View very much to the fore – that the PCT agreed to the new venture literally days before they went out of existence.
“Now that it is there, the new pharmacy will provide local people with a prescribing service on their very doorstop, and through this, helping to tackle ill health in the community of Skelton and New Skelton.”
The manager of the Skelton Pharmacy, Mr Zulfiqar Rafiq, said:
“I have been very grateful to Tom and his constituency office staff for the way they helped me battle the bureaucrats to get this business up and running. Now it is open, it is providing a daily prescribing and delivery service for local people, helping them with health advice and health promotion and providing a partnership to the GP’s and nurses at the Skelton Medical Centre. My staff is committed to providing a friendly and personal service and we look forward to be part of Skelton’s community life.”