Pharmacy in Scotland achieves things that we will still be talking about south of the border in another 12 months’ time. In no small part, this is due to Community Pharmacy Scotland and its forward-thinking chief pharmaceutical officer, Rose Marie Parr.

 

In her strategy for Scotland, Achieving excellence in pharmaceutical care, she elaborates on her priorities of developing the workforce, making use of technology and formulating a sustainable, Scotland-wide approach to pharmaceutical care.

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The community pharmacy economic model is broken, says Celesio UK’s managing director Cormac Tobin.

Over eighteen months ago we learnt of the imposition of draconian cuts to the global sum. An inevitable – desired, even – outcome of this is surely community pharmacy closures?


When the news became public, a profession not known for its activism mobilised forces and galvanised the public to consider its plight; two million signatures demonstrated the public support for our industry. Despite challenge in the courts the cuts were imposed and then it went quiet…

Celesio’s place in the pharmacy market is pretty unique given our national LloydsPharmacy network, as well as independent customers through AAH and our Careway partnership model. I know what is happening at the coalface and, let me tell you, whether you have 1,000 outlets or two, the view is the same; the community pharmacy economic model is broken.

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Dudley CCG’s decision on self care medicines is an interesting approach, says Noel Wicks

It seems that the saga surrounding the prescribing of OTC items has reached a new level. In recent weeks Dudley CCG issued a poster stating that prescriptions for self care medicines are no longer available from the GP. This decision follows a local consultation that took place between January and April asking people if they agreed to the proposals. This seems to have been running independently of the Department of Health’s own consultation on the subject that isn’t set to finish until later this year.

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Community pharmacy has a vital role in communicating information about medicines to patients

One thing I am passionate about as a representative of the consumer healthcare industry is ensuring people can access easily understandable and reliable information about their medicines, so they feel empowered and confident to look after their own health when appropriate.

In PAGB research, 71 per cent of people thought there should be better education around self-treatable conditions to encourage more people to self care.1 For me, this is an industry priority. That’s why PAGB is an active supporter of the Self Care Forum, a charity that helps to promote self care and improve health literacy.

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Mike Smith puts the world to rights...

I have recently attended several meetings and debates iabout the value of brands, and this has made me think a lot about the community pharmacy brand. I think that now is the time to consider how to promote our brand, which has enormous value and is widely trusted by our patients, customers and fellow healthcare professionals. Pharmacy is a great brand and being a pharmacist is a great job.

Recently, I read a survey about the professional groups that the general public trusts the most. Firemen came at the top of this list, followed by airline pilots and then pharmacists. Another survey of the public’s view of health professionals I have seen showed similar results, with pharmacists the second most trusted after nurses. I am sure that there are many other surveys with different outcomes, but one thing is clear – that pharmacists are consistently in the top five.


For many months now, I have discussed the challenges facing community pharmacy, so I’ll limit my comments this time. Then I think it is time to get bullish and optimistic about the future for our proud and trusted profession.

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