‘Methadone clinic’ fears are quashed

The former Harrowside Medical Centre
The former Harrowside Medical Centre
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Fears a methadone clinic could be opened up in a residential area of South Shore have been quashed by a drug and alcohol treatment group.

Business owners in the area told The Gazette of rumours the building could be opened up as a drop-in centre for recovering drug addicts looking to pick up prescriptions of the heroin substitute.

Coun Christian Cox, Squires Gate ward councillor in Blackpool

Coun Christian Cox, Squires Gate ward councillor in Blackpool

But Karen Brown, head of nursing and clinical services at Delphi Medicial, an independent provider of drug and alcohol treatment which has taken over the building, said rumours were false.

She added: “It is absolutely not a drop-in centre.

“There will be no drugs and no patients on site.

“It will be used as a base for our nurses to meet, before going out to clinics on Dickson Road, Cookson Street, and at the Salvation Army in the town centre to meet with people on a one-to-one basis where they will decide on treatment needed for patients.”

The Harrowside Surgery closed in December 2012, moving to South Shore Primary Care Centre on Lytham Road.

Mrs Brown said Delphi Medical bought the property earlier this year and had spent £6,000 revamping the surgery.

She added: “We are supporting the community and supporting people with drug and alcohol issues. It (substance misuse) is a high concern in Blackpool.”

Residents had raised concerns the former surgery could become a methadone centre following building work.

Businessman Matthew Mitchell, a resident on the road and owner of G&K Mitchells and Son, said: “The building has been redundant for a while but suddenly it’s sprung into life and there’s building work going on.

“There’s concern it could be a drug clinic.

“Why would you have that in a residential area? I’d worry it would affect my business and I don’t want my children to see that.”

But Coun Christian Cox, ward councillor for Squires Gate, said he had no issue with the new tenants.

He added: “I was trying to do a bit of investigating on this, the rumour was getting around.

“There was a lot of concern from residents over that sort of facility being in a residential area – one of the big concerns was a lack of consultation.

“That was what concerned people.

“If it is just being used as a base for the nurses I have no issue.”