Cossington Parish Council have been informed that the new Woolavington pharmacy, on the old Co-op store site, is scheduled to open this Thursday, 20th September.
The premises themselves are owned by Sedgemoor District Council who awarded the lease earlier in the year to Magna Healthcare in preference to the community proposal for a community hub (“The Polden Project”).
As previously mentioned, the NHS England one-mile rule will come into force following a gradualisation or transition period after the pharmacy opening. This rule means that all those living within one mile of the new pharmacy will no longer be able to collect their prescriptions from their GP – but must instead use a pharmacy (any pharmacy).
We have subsequently had confirmation from the NHS Appeals Unit that the gradualisation period will be four months. At the time that NHS England upheld Magna Healthcare’s appeal (January 2018) it was set by default at six months. We, other local Parish Councils and other local bodies requested this be extended to fifteen months whilst Magna Healthcare wanted it reduced to one month. The decision of four months took into consideration that eight months had elapsed since the original appeal decision, suggesting this had already given time to those affected time to prepare accordingly.
Nearly all Cossington residents will be affected by the one-mile rule with only those on the extreme eastern and northern ends of the village not included. We understand those affected should receive personal communications from the NHS before the end of the gradualisation period (Jan. 2019)