22 October 2007
RE THE needle exchange in the Dulwich Medical Centre:
There are divergent views on this issue so I would like to make our position clear.
1. We have no objections to having a pharmacy in the Dulwich Medical Centre. Local residents would find it very convenient.
Although if the existing pharmacies go ahead with their proposed extended hours rota a new pharmacy is not really needed.
2. We have no objections to having a needle exchange and methadone service in the existing pharmacies. Two pharmacies have been providing these services, on a very small scale, without incident.
3. We do have objections to the introduction of a needle exchange and the dispensing of methadone at the proposed pharmacy in the Dulwich Medical Centre.
The Dulwich Medical Centre is currently providing drug addictions prescribing for about five or six addicts, up to a maximum of ten addicts at any one time. Should the proposed pharmacy open there will be no limit to the number of addicts they could serve.
We accept that drug addicts have the same rights to NHS services as the rest of us. The question is how and where these services should be provided, given the high levels of criminality associated with drug addiction.
Our concern is that a large number of drug addicts and their hangers on, such as drug pushers, would have a very adverse impact on children and young people attending the adjacent nursery and community centre.
Although the Primary Care Trust has said that they have no plans to commission any additional drug addictions services from the proposed pharmacy, they cannot give a guarantee that they will not in the future. This is because the proposed new pharmacy has to state that they are willing to provide additional addictions services as and when the Primary Care Trust decides to commission them. Once the new pharmacy has opened there appears to be minimal scope for us to object to the additional addictions services. The decision would be under the discretion of the Primary Care Trust, which has unfortunately done little consultation to date.
Trevor Precious, Member, Barry Area Residents’ Association, East Dulwich.
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