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NPAI has always been a unique place to work. Set up by pharmacists over 120 years ago to provide protection for their businesses and their livelihoods, its purpose remains clear today - to protect community pharmacy as its role within the provision of primary healthcare and commercial services grows and diversifies.


By Dr Bruce Warner, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England


‘There are two paths the sector can go down. One involves mass automation, centralised dispensing and pharmacists working predominantly from GP practices or remotely. The other sees community pharmacies better integrated with other services, operating efficiently as neighbourhood health and wellbeing centres and being a front door to the NHS. This second path is the only path built on solid…


‘Our premises are conveniently located health & social care assets in neighbourhoods across the country.  Our skilled people have the capability to do so much more if liberated to do so.’


'Pharmacies must be progressive and modern, while at the same time being true to the historic values of pharmacy as a personal, caring profession. In particular, the sector must work to optimise the use of technology to strengthen pharmacy’s locally based service proposition.'


The link between supply and service is our history and our future. This link is a crucial element of the established, trusted service model of community pharmacy – namely convenient, face-to-face care from health care professionals, locally responsive and community based.


‘We have unique strengths and deliver immensely valuable benefits to patients, communities and the NHS. The network of local pharmacies must remain the beating heart of pharmaceutical care in the community.’


Martin Astbury is a community pharmacist who works in England and Wales, currently for Morrisons Pharmacy, and was first elected to the Council of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) when it was still a regulator as well as a professional body. In 2006 he was the chair of the RPSGB Health Act working group that helped stave off dangerous proposals to changes to the…


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


‘A solution to primary care access, pressure lies in liberating the clinical potential of all pharmacists, especially those available without an appointment, in community pharmacies right across the country.’