Health campaigner backing plans for late-night pharmacy in town
A health campaigner has welcomed plans by Market Harborough's largest medical practice to open a late-night pharmacy.
The Market Harborough Medical Centre wants to offer thousands of its patients the opportunity to pick up drugs as late as 11pm from Monday to Saturday.
County-based HSSP Architects Limited has drawn up plans for an enlarged pharmacy at the Coventry Road clinic.
At present, people needing late-night medicines have to travel out of town to Leicester or Kettering.
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District councillor Phil Knowles, who has campaigned for more than 20 years for better health facilities in the town, said: "This is very good news for people who live in Market Harborough and the nearby villages. We have wanted a late-night dispensing pharmacy for a long time.
"At the moment, you have to go into Leicester or other towns out of the district to obtain medicines late at night.
"Once this is up and running, people will be able to get the medicines they need without facing a long journey."
HSSP told Harborough District Council in a planning application that the medical centre had recently been granted approval from the health authorities to operate a 100-hour pharmacy from the site.
It will allow prescriptions to be dispensed to all patients who visit the premises.
An extension will be built providing a separate entrance, which will enable the 100-hour pharmacy to operate when the medical centre is closed.
The opening hours at the centre will remain 8am to 6.30pm Tuesday to Friday (and to 8.30pm on Monday).
The opening hours of the new pharmacy will be extended to 11pm Monday to Friday, and be from 8am to 11pm on Saturday and 8am to 6pm on Sunday.
A spokesman for HSSP said: "This is not an intensification of use at these times, as no other services are provided at the medical centre, with car parking and access being freely available."
He said the extended opening hours would enable collections to be made after working hours and at the weekends.
He said a recent Market Harborough Medical Centre patient survey showed 48 per cent of the patients would prefer to collect repeat prescriptions in the evening or at the weekend.
The application will be considered by Harborough District Council's planning committee in the next two months.