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Community pharmacies across the UK have been making sure patients get their medicines, despite the weather, often making deliveries by foot. Olivier Picard, pharmacist and manager at Newdays Pharmacy in Reading looks back at his week.


Many pharmacists will have experienced the past twelve months as their toughest ever year. It has certainly been my own darkest hour as a pharmacy owner.


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.


As any pharmacist knows, being at the frontline of the NHS is to be ever-vigilant, and the work we do is vital to the health of both the general public and the NHS. We are all fully aware that pharmacies are so much more than purveyors of pills!


‘Even more in this age of increasing automation and digitalisation, the face to face relationship between health professionals and patients matters.’


Something remarkable happened last week. For the first time in the history of community pharmacy, we received commitments in the manifestos of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat Parties.


It is a year since the NPA published the report of its hub and spoke task group – An Evidence Based Policy Review. The report concluded that hub and spoke between different companies is fraught with difficulties for independents and presents dangers for the sector when set in the context of the government’s current cost-focused (rather than value-focused) policy approach


Part of my role as the Head of Corporate Affairs at the NPA is to scrutinise government policy, always with the end goal of helping independent pharmacies operate profitable businesses and provide excellent patient care. By far the most dangerous policy idea circulating in government right now is that local pharmacies can be replaced by an Amazon style medicines service.


The Department of Health’s community pharmacy funding ‘final package’ presents a significant challenge to community pharmacies across England.


Approximately 16 years ago I met Kirit Patel, Day Lewis Pharmacy, for the first time at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre, for a Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee(PSNC) conference. After my election to the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) board, I was fortunate to meet Kirit again, who at the time was a contender for the chair of the NPA.