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Look what you could have won


Look what you could have won

Super, smashing, great! Outsider imagines our glorious negotiators at the Bullseye podium

Community Pharmacy England’s negotiating team were midway through the negotiating process when Rishi Sunak announced that he was going to personally deal with the immigration crisis by emigrating to California in the summer. The country would be going to the polls on July 4th.

Today is polling day – and it seems inconceivable that there will not be a change of government. Which raises the question: how much did Janet Morrison and her CPE team achieve prior to Rishi’s surprise announcement? Well, you need wonder no more, as we take you behind the scenes during the final stages of the negotiating process:

It’s Bullseye, and here’s your host, Victoria Atkins.

“Welcome to Bullseye, what a lovely studio audience.

“Let’s see who’s playing Bullseye tonight – give them a round of applause. What a superb audience, aren’t they Janet? Janet, what do you do for a living? “I’m the chief executive of the Pharmaceutical, err, no sorry, Community Pharmacy England.”

“And you Alastair, what about you?”

“Hi Jim, er, Victoria. I’m the director of NHS services for Community Pharmacy England.”

It was a calm first game of Jeremy’s Category Board. Darts players only, of course, and Janet asked Alastair to hit science, history and – surprising everyone – bible. Alastair played a solid hand in all three categories, and Janet returned the favour with three correct answers. Who knew she was an expert on the Book of Job?

After game one, Janet and Alastair were second, in a close battle for the lead with the Royal College of Nursing and the Optometric Fees Negotiating Committee.

Game two was Pounds for Points. It was looking bad for Alastair as he only managed to win one round at the oche, leaving Community Pharmacy England in second place behind the Optometrists, with one dart each left. Alastair needed to score 37 or more to have a chance.

“Treble-one. 16. 20.”

Tensions mount.

If the nurses score less than 39, Janet and Alastair could be through.

“17. One. 25”

Disappointment all round. But what’s this? The nurses needed to correctly identify Smith in a photograph of Smith and Nephew and they failed. Community Pharmacy England steal the round and are through to Jeremy’s Prize Board. What larks.

After a slight delay during the Charity round, where the president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society failed to score 301 and also didn’t know whether that was a bigger or smaller number than the membership of the Society, Janet and Alastair were back.

Victoria proceeded to count out all the money they’d won so far, which didn’t take long. She then took 13 per cent of that money back off them because they’d bought their darts cheaper than she had expected. Jeremy then gave out several large “moo” noises and Victoria took another one per cent off to make sure their darts were of high enough quality and another two per cent off to pay for other teams’ darts.

By this point, Janet and Alastair were looking confused, but Victoria assured them that all was well and they could still win big – Jeremy’s Prize Board was still to come.

“Keep out of the black and in the red; nothing in this game for two in the bed.”

Alastair starts first. In the red – number five, New Medicine Service expansion confirmed. Red number three, Serious Shortage Protocols for 17 more medicines. Red number four, cessation of Category M overpayment recovery for the last two years.

Now it’s the non-professional darts player. Alastair has set Janet up well. Can she avoid the black?

Black. Black. Red number seven, improved funding for the pharmacist prescribing pathfinder! What a result!

It’s down to Alastair now. Three more darts.

Red number one, improvements to the Pharmacy First IT platform and more local support, fully funded. Black. And the final throw is... red number six, a commitment to reform the price concession process and look again at paying invoice price (or No Cheaper Stock Available).

“Well Janet, Alastair, you’ve done so well. We can’t take your money away from you and we wouldn’t want to. Apart from what Jeremy’s already taken away from you. You have won a lot. Do you want to risk it all on tonight’s star prize, which is hiding behind Jeremy? 101 or more with six darts, three for Janet, three for you Alastair. Audience, what would you do?”

The audience is raucous, but seems undecided. Then, clear as a bell, Janet’s voice rings out, “gamble!”

And, quick as flash, we’re off. Janet throws an unconvincing five followed by a four that barely stays in! Then a double 16 comes out of nowhere and the game is on. Alastair needs 64.

“One. Treble-20....”

Then the director, Rishi some-one-or-other, cuts the production. Fade to black. We’ll never know what they could have won. I think we all wish it was the speedboat.

Outsider is a community pharmacy commentator

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