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Cradlehall pharmacy on the cards

Councillor Duncan Macpherson at Cradlehall Court in Inverness.
Councillor Duncan Macpherson at Cradlehall Court in Inverness.

An application has been lodged to establish a community pharmacy for the Inverness district of Cradlehall.

Mo Ameen, 36, who currently runs the family business Care Pharmacy, in Springside, Ayrshire, has applied to NHS Highland to open his own business, situated in the Cradlehall Court area.

The pharmacy would serve a community of 3,000 people whose nearest pharmacies are around four miles away at Milton of Leys or Tesco Inshes.

Mr Ameen said he’s ready to ‘flex a different set of muscles’ and launch out on his own, transferring the running of the Ayrshire business to his brother.

As a community pharmacy, Cradlehall would be able to offer a minor ailment service for certain groups of patients who would register with the pharmacy and be able to receive treatment or advice for minor conditions.

The pharmacy would also dispense acute medication; provide advice and information on health issues, and provide a “care and review” service for those with long-term conditions.

Mr Ameen said he had been working with councillor Duncan MacPherson to canvas the local community for their views and had found a strong consensus in favour.

“The service should be built by the people, for the people,” he said.

“Community pharmacies can help offset issues like the loss of GPs and long waiting times, and deal with the common issues most patients can experience.”

Highland councillor Duncan Macpherson said: “I’ve been pushing for this since my days on Cradlehall and Westhill community council.

“The pharmacy would be close to a 55-bed nursing homes, a nursery and primary school.

In the business park five minutes away, a new 90-bed nursing home is under construction to be ready by next summer.”

Previous proposals for a pharmacy in the area were turned down by NHS Highland on the grounds that it was not needed.

At the time councillors said there had been “a lot of apathy” and there was a need to be better prepared to fight for the new pharmacy.

Both Mr Ameen and Mr Macpherson urged the community to get proactively behind the new proposals in the statutory 90-day public consultation to begin shortly.

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