Community pharmacy faces change

There will be change: whether that’s imposed or it is created by the profession, says Raj Nutan

I am looking forward to chairing the Business programme sessions at this year’s Pharmacy Show at the NEC later this year. The Pharmacy Show is the must attend event in the pharmacy calendar, bringing a range of suppliers and manufacturers under one roof to interact with pharmacy professionals.

For the first time since I qualified – hand on my heart – I can honestly say that community pharmacy will change going forwards. We have often said that “pharmacy is at a cross-roads”, and then we seem to just stay there. But now is definitely the time that we will either be pushed down one path or, indeed, forge our own.

Hot topics for pharmacy

What are the hot topics currently affecting pharmacy? Well, for example: there’s the announcement of funding cuts of six per cent in England; the hub and spoke consultation; the NHS drive to increase efficiency through automation; pharmacy team’s skill mix; NHS medicines reimbursement; the use of branded generics; pharmacist roles in GP surgeries; increased use of pharmacists’ clinical skills; NHS efficiency savings and changes in medicines distribution – I could go on of course. What is clear is that these issues are being faced by the whole pharmacy profession and, importantly, require the profession to work together to think differently about how we sustain a strong profession in an ever-changing NHS.

There is no doubt that community pharmacies need to keep abreast of all these issues to increase their understanding of how they impact on business turnover, costs, margins, and ultimately, on their ability to provide important healthcare services in their local communities. Recognising these hot topics and implementing an appropriate action plan can itself prove challenging, so using the support available to you is crucial. This is where business information can help.

Forum for discussion

The Business programme at the show will provide delegates with an opportunity to hear from a range of experts in their field who will provide practical advice and support. Over the two days they will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and throughout the show many of the speakers will be available on their respective supplier stands for you to speak to them. Delegates have a fantastic opportunity to support their CPD by attending the Business programme.

It is a pleasure being involved in The Pharmacy Show this year and I look forward to meeting you, either during the Business programme or at the Numark stand.


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