B999 Health Trust has been set up as a social enterprise - this means that its main aim is to provide a service for the community. Any surplus income from running the phamacy will be used to support branch surgeries in the area and any additional health services. There are no shareholders and no-one will make a profit from the NHS services provided.

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What is B999 Health Trust?

B999 Health Trust has been registered as a non-profit making Company Limited By Guarantee (SC437970). Its purpose is to establish and run a pharmacy based in Pitmedden and to utilise surplus income for improving health care in the parishes of Udny, Tarves and Methlick, which is the area covered by Haddo Medical Group - this includes ensuring there is sustainable GP provision and enhanced general medical services in Tarves, which in turn will relieve pressure on services in Pitmedden.

Doesn't that mean you are just giving the profits to GPs?

Well no. We are intending to pay the GPs for additional services - so there is no way that it's 'something for nothing'. Of course we're not asking anyone to work for free - so any staff that are employed - including the pharmacist - will get paid a fair wage. Those costs are taken into account before we decide what is 'profit' (or surplus).

Who are the people behind B999 Health Trust?

A small group of community minded people came together to establish the business with the aim of maximising the potential benefits of a Community owned Pharmacy for the enhancement of healthcare services in the wider B999 area. None of have any shares in the business (because the way we have set up the business there are no shareholders!).

Why is B999 Health Trust needed?

If it can be demonstrated that a community pharmacy is 'necessary or desirable' a commercial pharmacy company could open in Pitmedden. This would potentially mean that the income from dispensing would go to shareholders of that company. Haddo Medical Group have always maintained that the income they derive from dispensing is used to fund the additional services (more appointments, branch surgeries and the like). The opening of a pharmacy would mean that Haddo Medical Group would be required to stop dispensing - and so would be unable to afford to provide those additional services.

By applying to run a Community Pharmacy (and for it to really be a Community venture) we can prevent that loss of services from happening.

How do we know if a Community Pharmacy is 'necessary or desirable'?

It was successfully argued that residents in Pitmedden and the surrounding area had 'serious difficulty' in obtaining prescribed medicines from a pharmacy. This is the only way, by law, that a GP is allowed to dispense prescribed medicines to their patients (except in an emergency). This test of 'serious difficulty' is more rigorous than 'necessary or desirable' - which means that having made the case for retaining dispensing, the community is at risk of someone else opening a pharmacy if they think it might make a profit. 

Even if the application is unsuccessful it will mean that a commercial pharmacy will have to wait for a considerable period of time before making an application, especially as the views of the community need to be demonstrated. We've done that once...