RURAL campaigners in Torridge were breathing a sigh of relief this week as Government ministers ditched plans to restrict the dispensing of medicines by GP surgeries. It was a proposal that had threatened to lead to the closure of hundreds of rural GP sur

RURAL campaigners in Torridge were breathing a sigh of relief this week as Government ministers ditched plans to restrict the dispensing of medicines by GP surgeries.It was a proposal that had threatened to lead to the closure of hundreds of rural GP surgeries, said Torridge lead councillor for Health, Adam Symons.Mr Symons said: Many rural GP practices rely on income from their integrated dispensaries. The Pharmacy White Paper suggested withdrawing permission for doctors to dispense medicines to patients who live more than a mile from a chemist. This was patently unacceptable and we told the Government so. The plans could have had a devastating impact on local surgeries in Torridge. I am glad the Government has listened to us, although I find it extraordinary that they proposed to undermine such an important and successful service in the first place.