Primary Care Trusts are required to publish maps showing their ‘controlled localities’.
Controlled localities are geographical areas within a Primary Care Trust’s boundary that have been determined as ‘rural’ in character in accordance with guidelines set out in the National Health Services (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005.
What is a controlled locality?
According to the NHS, general practitioners (GPs) may apply to dispense NHS prescriptions in certain rural areas classified as controlled localities.
Permission is granted to GPs providing there is no "prejudice" to the existing medical or pharmaceutical services.
It was decided to allow GPs to dispense to provide patients access to dispensing services in rural communities where they don't have reasonable access to a community pharmacy.
What do the maps show?
The West Sussex controlled locality map shows the areas which have been classified as not rural in character (areas within red borders) - and therefore not controlled localities.
All other areas are determined to be rural in character and are therefore controlled localities (areas outside the red borders).
The map also shows areas within the controlled localities that are within 1.6km of a community pharmacy (blue dashed circles) and consequently people living in these areas are not eligible for GP dispensing services under the Regulations*.
The purpose of a GP dispensing service is to make sure that people living in rural areas who are likely to have difficulty getting to a pharmacy can access the dispensed medicines and other prescription items they need, if they meet the criteria of the regulations.
*Please note that people living within 1.6km of Rudgwick pharmacy are not subject to the 1.6km rule: If a community pharmacy opens in a place where fewer than 2,750 people registered with a GP live within the 1.6km, the regulation does not apply. These areas are called ‘reserved locations’.
The National Health Services (Pharmaceutical Services) Regulations 2005 details who can appeal decisions regarding the determination of controlled localities.