Pharmacy teams are well placed to help smokers quit for good this New Year, says PAGB’s John Smith

Here we are again in December. It’s time to reflect on the year we’ve just had and think about all of the success and learnings we can take with us into 2018. For most people, New Year comes with resolutions, and health related ones, such as giving up smoking and joining the gym, are usually high on the list. We make these promises to ourselves on 1 January when our motivation levels are high, but as time passes, it’s just not that easy to keep them.

 

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Mike Smith puts the world to rights…

Following on from my comments about the excellent strategy for Scotland produced by chief pharmacist Rose Marie Parr, I have just returned from a trip to Scotland, and had the good fortune to meet Rose Marie in Edinburgh while I was there. The strategy is well worth a read – do visit gov.scot to have a look.

visited several community pharmacists during my trip and it was encouraging to see some aspects of the strategy already in place. Key is a break away from the obsession with remuneration and thinking more closely about identifying and developing services along with normal practice.

Of course, the financial challenges are just the same north of the border as in England, but they have looked at ways of working with the Scottish government to move forward in the face of these difficulties. To see the minor ailment service and the chronic medication service in operation demonstrates to me the way forward in England, but so far we’ve heard nothing but talk. I understand that Keith Ridge claimed at the All Party Pharmacy Group that CCGs are decommissioning minor ailment schemes because “things have moved on”. Well, watch this space, I say.

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Healthcare is becoming more about choice and we need to offer services that are designed with patients in mind, says speciality director at Celesio UK, Ruth Poole

Providing patients with more choice is the key to delivering sustainable healthcare that is fit for the future, and since I joined Celesio UK 12 months ago, we have spoken a lot about how we’re on a mission to transform healthcare. It’s clear that this doesn’t happen overnight, but we have been making steady progress toward that goal. With the launch of Healthcare Centres from LloydsPharmacy, I believe we are taking a huge leap forward.

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Research suggests that your pharmacy could be seeing an increase in requests for home delivery. Will this trend only continue, and how could you handle that?

Would your pharmacy be able to compete with the likes of Amazon on home delivery if they launched into the UK market? Would you want to do that, and, crucially, would your customers and patients expect you to?

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Should pharmacies taking on pre-reg candidates should spare a thought for those grappling with a challenging new placement allocation system?

I recently had the pleasure of spending some time with the executive of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association. I was speaking at one of their meetings and had the chance to get to grips with some of the issues facing students and pre-registration pharmacists. 

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