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Under pressure

Mike Smith discusses the difficulties and disruption caused by the Christmas frenzy

Pregnancy- a growing market?

More women than ever are having children later in life, making supplements and ovulation kits the new must haves.

Pregnancy & baby care: Sweet dreams

It is always a relief to know that mother and baby are both doing well – but this isn't always the case

Ready for a new dispensing model?

Hub and spoke dispensing is on the horizon – Carolyn Scott finds out what that might involve

Warm words, cold reality

Mike Smith puts the world to rights... Is it just me, or is the run-up to a general election just about the only time that we hear the really big hitters in politics (and by that I mean those at the level of health secretary and above) publicly acknowledge the roles of healthcare professionals other than GPs? With only a few more months of electioneering to go, I am sure we can all look forward to many more warm words about the role community pharmacists can play. Perhaps, between now and 7 May, we should all start keeping count of how many times we hear the phrases ‘bigger role to play’ or ‘swing the pendulum of care away from hospital towards the community’ or ‘vital role in preventative care’ before the votes are cast and the pre-election pledges appear to immediately disappear into the ether.  

A wider reach for elderly customers

The UK has an ageing population that is projected to rise in the future, but older people are not making the most of the help that community pharmacy offers. Sasa Jankovic finds out why, and asks what pharmacies can do to address this

Five key points about community pharmacy by Pharmacy Voice

A major new campaign to promote community pharmacy has begun for the election year

Think the unthinkable when planning a pharmacy business

Many business owners don’t have a will, says this lawyer. But this is a highly risky strategy if anything goes wrong

Where next for minor ailments?

With the latest data from PSNC showing that consultations for minor ailments are less expensive when provided through community pharmacy, why is the service still not being fully funded in England?

Waiting in vain?

Pharmacy leaders have been told they have a race on their hands for pharmacy to be included as part of new NHS working practices

Could a minor ailments scheme take off in England?

Scotland’s minor ailments service has a lot that’s good about it, says Noel Wicks Some ideas are just so good that they keep coming around again and again. One such idea is that of an English national minor ailments/common ailments service through pharmacies. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, with costly A&Es bursting at the seams and long waits for doctors’ appointments, a service such as this is the only logical way forward. When you think about it, we already have the infrastructure, the capability and the scope to create the capacity for such a service. I’m sure the amount needed to set up the service would be minimal compared to any other recent national initiatives you care to mention. I appreciate that the ongoing costs of providing this would not be inconsiderable, but, in my opinion, and in relation to the alternatives, it surely can’t represent anything other than value for money. Hopefully, in the near future there will be a sudden outbreak of common sense from the government and by winter 2015 pharmacy really will be the ‘first port of call’ for common conditions.

Stubbing out the habit

The smoking cessation market is changing and with so many options now available in and out of the pharmacy, offering the right advice will be key

Keep your customers on track

Help your customers steer clear of the fad diets this January by offering them personalised support and guidance with realistic goals and expectations

Focus on food allergy advice

How can pharmacies help customers get the right diagnosis for a food allergy and help them to manage their diet?

Success in the dry skin category

People want the advice that we give about managing skin problems, says pharmacist Saroj Shah

A good idea for a pharmacy service that would take off

Scotland’s minor ailments service has a lot that’s good about it, says Noel Wicks Some ideas are just so good that they keep coming around again and again. One such idea is that of an English national minor ailments/common ailments service through pharmacies. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, with costly A&Es bursting at the seams and long waits for doctors’ appointments, a service such as this is the only logical way forward. When you think about it, we already have the infrastructure, the capability and the scope to create the capacity for such a service. I’m sure the amount needed to set up the service would be minimal compared to any other recent national initiatives you care to mention. I appreciate that the ongoing costs of providing this would not be inconsiderable, but, in my opinion, and in relation to the alternatives, it surely can’t represent anything other than value for money.

Variety is the spice of life

Although pharmacy needs to focus on healthcare, new ideas might catch the customer’s eye, says Noel Wicks Is it just me, or has the scope of retail creep reached epidemic proportions? I can now buy a onesie when I fill up my petrol tank, book a restaurant while banking and take out pet insurance as I get my groceries (albeit I have to scan them myself these days). Although the idea of flogging stuff to a captive audience is not a new one, retailers are becoming increasingly diverse in what they offer their customers. In many cases, the products are a natural add-on: why wouldn’t you want a memory card or headphones with your new tablet? However, lately I’ve noticed more companies diversifying to the point of ludicrousness. Perhaps it’s the Christmas factor that’s emphasising this for me.  

Will there be jobs for student pharmacists?

If capping student numbers isn’t the answer, we need a new approach, says Noel Wicks

Be clear on cancers

Steve Williamson talks about how pharmacy teams can help to improve early diagnosis of oesophagogastric cancer

Season’s eatings - Digestive health

Post-Christmas bloat is likely to affect many people over the festive period, but it’s a problem that isn’t just experienced once a year – many people complain of digestive issues
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