FEARS are rife a pharmacy could spell the end for a village’s medical centre.
Residents gathered outside the Tangmere Medical Centre yesterday (July 3) in a bid save its dispensary.
The possibility of opening a pharmacy in the nearby One Stop, in Tangmere Road, is being examined – which would mean the medical centre’s dispensary could no longer serve people in the village.
The dispensary can only serve people who do not live within one mile of a pharmacy which, if the new pharmacy opened, would rule out residents of Tangmere and Boxgrove.
“That just takes away nearly all the patients that we currently dispense to,” said Dr Alice Chishick.
She added: “It would almost certainly mean we would have to close our dispensary and closure of our dispensary could in turn lead to closure of the whole medical centre, which would cause a serious lack of provision of general medical services for the population of Tangmere and Boxgrove.”
Ron Robinson, 80, of Church Lane, said it would be a ‘tragedy’ if the centre closed.
Nearly 400 people are members of the Friends of Tangmere Medical Centre.
Joy Frost, 81, of Copper Beach Drive, the wife of Friends founder John, who has since passed away, said the centre was vital.
“We certainly don’t want to see it disappear because it’s the heart of the village really,” she said.
The centre opened in 2009 with a large car park and easy access for everyone.
However, campaigners expressed fears about the ease of access to the nearby One Stop.
A spokeswoman for the company said: “One Stop are looking into the possibility of a pharmacy but there’s no further update on the plans at the moment.
“We’re always looking for new ways to make shopping at the store even more convenient for customers.”
Salman Hussain, of Salman Healthcare, said a pharmacy would benefit the village and the application was approved by the primary care trust when it was first submitted.
“Everything’s been done by the book and it’s legal,” he said, adding all the proper assessments for the viability of the possible pharmacy had been carried out.