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

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.…

Core Belief: Face-to-face contact is vitally important

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

Thorrun Govind is a community pharmacist from Bolton with strong media presence, including a monthly slot as the resident pharmacist at BBC Radio Lancashire. Thorrun has recently appeared as a guest on BBC’s Newsnight to discuss the consequences of cuts to pharmacy services. Community pharmacy is the front line of the NHS, helping to alleviate the strain on other services. Local face to face care, without an appointment, with a clinical professional is the unique selling point of community pharmacy. The clue is after all in the name- ‘community.’ It’s about taking the time to encourage vulnerable patients to feel comfortable with coming to see you. It’s about helping patients that are feeling depressed, and working together with other healthcare professionals locally to find the right balance of medication and psychological support.. It’s about comforting someone who has had a fit and calling their mum. It’s about the pharmacy delivery driver who is Dementia-trained and is the only person that a patient sees apart from a carer. It’s about providing treatment via a local minor-ailment scheme to save the NHS the cost of a £45 GP appointment. It’s about the lady who unwraps her pregnancy test in the consultation room and asks you to check is she is pregnant.…