Couple hope South Queensferry pharmacy dream will come true

Lynn and Will Samson hope to open a pharmacy in South Queensferry..
Lynn and Will Samson hope to open a pharmacy in South Queensferry..

Husband and wife pharmacists Will and Lynn Samson will discover this month if their dream of running their own pharmacy will come true.

The couple had hoped to open a pharmacy on Scotstoun Grove in South Queensferry. However, an NHS committee refused the application in December 2018. Their appeal was successful in so far as it compelled the NHS to convene a new committee hearing on September 27.

The pharmacists were devastated that their application was refused last year due to there already being two Lloyds pharmacists in the town, particularly given that their survey of 581 locals had found 75 per cent in favour of the plans.

Will said: “There is definitely a demand for another pharmacy here. I’m hopeful we will be successful this time.

“They said no at the previous hearing and it went to appeal, where the appeal panel found faults with the conclusions the original committee had reached.

“They had said the current provision is adequate, even though we had consulted the public, with three quarters of them saying the current provision is inadequate and that they backed our plans.

“The committee believed those people were mistaken.”

The two current Lloyds Pharmacies in the town are situated at The Loan and at Roseberry Avenue.

Will added: “Because they are both Lloyds it’s a local monopoly, which causes problems with provision.

“I tried to explain that to the committee but they wouldn’t hear of it.”

Will and Lynn are still hopeful of realising their dream of running their own pharmacy together.

Will said: “I have been a community pharmacist for 20 years and Lynn has been a community pharmacist for 15 years. We have always worked for others, never ourselves.

“It’s something we have always wanted to do and it has been our dream for a long time.

“Fingers crossed our dream will come true later this month.”

NHS Lothian said it would not discuss the application ahead of the appeal.

The couple have set up a petition - www.petitions.net/we_want_a_new_pharmacy_for_south_queensferr