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Campaign to protect rural GP surgeries wins crucial victory says Farron

December 17, 2008 11:00 AM

An announcement yesterday that proposals to change the rules on which GP practices in England can provide drugs directly to their patients have been rejected by ministers and has been described by local MP Tim Farron as a welcome relief for rural GPs.

Patients in rural communities are currently able to receive prescription drugs from their GP, rather than a pharmacy. The Dispensing Doctors Association has therefore been arguing that any change to system would seriously affect GP practices in rural area, which dispense drugs directly to their patients.

Commenting on the announcement Mr Farron said:

"The Government has finally listened to the concerns of people in rural areas. Any change to the system would have been a body blow to rural GP practices and would have directly impacted on the quality of patient care available here in the South Lakes.

"Today's announcement means that patients in need of care won't be faced with a choice over where to get their drugs or denied other services such as home visits which are more necessary in large rural areas.

"This decision has definitely gone some way to safeguarding the rural GP practice; but it would have been better if it had avoided raising the fears of a large numbers of patients in the first place - many of whom are elderly.