A joint public consultation exercise is undertaken to seek the views of the local population which would be served by the proposed pharmacy and to gauge support for the new pharmacy opening or one seeking to relocate its premises, unless this is a minor relocation.
The public consultation is a very important part of the pre-application process as it allows the HB and potential applicant to assess the opinion of residents on whether they currently have access to the level of pharmacy services that the potential applicant intends to provide within their neighbourhood, and to establish the level of support of residents within that neighbourhood.
The consultation lasts 90 working days and it is important that people respond within this timescale so that their views can be included in the Consultation Analysis Report which is then presented to the PPC who take the contents into account when the application is considered.
The exercise is jointly agreed between the potential applicant and the HB and may be different in each pharmacy application depending on local circumstances and individual potential applicants.
NHSGG&C have developed a “core” exercise which it will use as a basis for all consultations. This Includes consultation with:
The pharmacy regulations require the process to advertise the potential applicant’s intention to open a new pharmacy in the newspaper most likely to have the highest circulation in the neighbourhood of the proposed pharmacy.
When an existing pharmacy is seeking to relocate (where it is not a minor relocation), a poster is displayed within the existing pharmacy premises.
Both the advert and poster give details on how people can take part in the relevant consultation exercise by either visiting NHS GG&C's public website or have a paper copy posted to them if they prefer.
The pharmacy regulations set out a minimum list of points that the joint consultation must seek views on. These are: the NHS pharmaceutical services to be provided, any perceived gaps in the existing pharmacy provision, the impact on other NHS services in the neighbourhood and, the level of support for the application by the local community.
The joint consultation process may seek views on additional issues, depending on the circumstances.