What are the key strengths of community pharmacy that we should make policy makers aware of?
'We want more services'
The development of services is the main thing that pharmacy should put forward but we do need service commissioning to be fair. If we’re going to offer more services then there should be remuneration to enable service development to take place effectively.
Pharmacy could take over minor ailments as this is something that puts pressure on GP’s time. Minor ailment services in pharmacies could also alleviate the pressure from some of our A&E departments as pharmacists could counsel patients in the pharmacy, which could prevent them from going to an A&E department in the first place.
Amin Mayank, Coney Hall Pharmacy, West Wickham, Kent
'We can be the first port of call'
I think pharmacy should be putting forward that they are there and available to provide the services that need to be done. There is already such a huge network of pharmacies throughout the country that it makes sense for us to be the first port of call for patients.
Sunil Chopra, The Village Pharmacy, Hextable, Kent
'We are a trusted, skilled resource'
The key message to get across to NHS England is that pharmacy is a vastly untapped resource. Pharmacists are knowledgeable and trusted by the public, as well as being the most accessible healthcare professionals with the most weekly interaction with patients.
Brian Deal, Ashwell Pharmacy, Baldock, Hertfordshire
'Promote health through pharmacy'
Community pharmacy can play a much fuller role in the NHS transformation. The recent Dispensing Health campaign from Pharmacy Voice will help the public understand what pharmacy is for, but pharmacists need to promote themselves as the accessible face of healthcare. Pharmacies should not just be for treating illness, but also promoting general health.
Lindsey Fairbrother, Good Life Pharmacy, Hatton, Derbyshire
The largest, most experienced publisher in the UK pharmacy sector
CIG is the UK's leading provider of sector-specific news and training, publishing 15 healthcare and beauty titles including Pharmacy Magazine, Training Matters, P3, Independent Community Pharmacist and Beauty Magazine. Over the years the company has built an enviable reputation in pharmacy, journalism, education, training, regulatory, awards and conferences, that today amounts to more than 350 years of healthcare industry experience.