The decision to refuse permission for a new pharmacy to open despite hour-long queues at existing branches shows the system has “gone wrong”, a GP has said.

Growing concern over people’s ability to collect prescriptions and seek local medical advice in Midlothian has led to calls for a national review of pharmacy contracts.

Health chiefs in the county held talks with NHS Lothian bosses after it was claimed people were queuing for up to an hour to pick up medicine in one town.

And at a meeting of Midlothian Integration Joint Board on Thursday, GP representative Dr Hamish Reid said the current contract system, which is operated at a national level, has “gone wrong”.

Concerns were first raised by the board in February after the Lothian Pharmacy Practices Committee refused to approve a licence for a new independent pharmacy in Rosewell, despite local support.

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