A dangerous plan to make pharmacies less safe – Independent Pharmacists Thinking Aloud

25 Sep 2017

Welcome to the first in a new series of blogs - Independent Pharmacists Thinking Aloud.  The views in these blogs do not necessarily reflect those of the NPA.

Pharmacists lead the pharmacy team to ensure the best outcome for patients. The disgraceful attempt to take away the protection afforded by a pharmacist supervising the dispensing process and protecting the public is the latest assault on patient safety. The team needs every component.

This latest issue is on top of a raft of measures that will have a seismic impact on the way patients will receive their medicines. As a pharmacist I have worked with very able technicians as part of a team, however, the training that pharmacists receive compared to technicians is not comparable. A five-year rigorous training to Masters level cannot be substituted and this appears to be a government intent on getting healthcare on the cheap at the expense of patients.

This plan completely dismisses the important work of pharmacists as they consistently prevent unnecessary admissions to GP’s and A+E. Providing NHS flu vaccinations, conducting medicine use reviews and counselling patients are just some of the vital services that pharmacists are capable of providing as Masters trained medicines experts.

I believe this is a part of a much bigger process intent on destroying the community pharmacy service now on offer and replacing it with a dangerous experiment. Last winter nearly 500 ambulances were turned away by A&E departments around the country. With a flu epidemic forecast this winter this is not the time to be replacing a highly trained, accessible healthcare professional on the high street who can help relieve pressure on the NHS as a whole.

Do you have an opinion on Thorrun’s view? We’d love to hear it in the comments below. If you’d like to submit your own “thinking aloud” blog then please send it to a.bartlett@npa.co.uk