Drugs controversy hits new medical surgery
A LONG-awaited new doctors’ surgery at Methil Docks is finally expected to open to the public next month.
But concerns are already being raised because methadone will be dispensed from its new onsite pharmacy – just yards from where toddlers play at Levenmouth Childcare Centre.
An angry local parent, who did not want to be named, said: “Surely someone must have thought it would be inappropriate – to say the least – for young innocent children to be exposed to this?
“Every day, addicts are going to be beating a path right past the children’s playground for their fix!”
The new £2m state of the art medical centre is set to replace The Cannons surgery’s Victorian premises on Fisher Street from December 10, while Boots Pharmacy on Lower Methil’s High Street is also expected to relocate to the Ajax Way building.
There are currently 210 people in Levenmouth being prescribed methadone by NHS Fife Addiction Services, 56 of them in Lower Methil.
But tensions were already running high in August, when parents told the Mail they were at their wits’ end because a corner of a nearby playpark in South Grove was being used as a drugs’ den just metres from where children played.
One dad, who asked not to be named, was convinced local methadone users were taking away their extra Sunday allowance as an exchange for heroin.
When Mail reporters visited the park, drugs paraphernalia, including two dozen unused needles, was found scattered among the undergrowth.
He said: “Do these people care so little about their own lives that they don’t care that kids in the park can pick up what they throw away?”
A spokesperson for Boots UK said: “Customers are at the heart of everything we do.”
“Moving our premises to co-locate with the GP practice will provide improved access to our pharmacy and allow us to significantly improve our pharmacy premises which will offer benefits to all of our customers.
“The safety of our patients and the local community is of the utmost importance as is providing patient care to all.
“We, like other pharmacies, work in conjunction with the NHS to provide a methadone service to those that need this to enable them to take control of their drug usage and stop the need for using illicit drugs such as heroin.”
The new facility will provide extended GP consulting and nurse treatment suites, minor ops and health education facilities, as well as meeting and training rooms for staff and an on-site pharmacy.
While welcoming these improvements, Cllr Andrew Rodger also pledged to act on concerns raised by local residents
He told the Mail: “I will be speaking to health and education authorities and ask them to contact the pharmacy to help allay any fears of children’s safety being compromised by services.”
A spokesperson for Levenmouth Childcare Centre was unavailable for comment.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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