By secretary of North East London LPC, Hemant Patel.

Look how much money is being thrown at GPs while pharmacy funding is slashed. Community pharmacy may not be dead but is definitely on its knees and is being set up to fail and collapse.

Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, has a clear plan to separate provision of knowledge-based care from product supply, and make changes at a pace and scale never seen before in the NHS. The consequences for the community pharmacy network are grave.

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By Richard Thomas, editor, Pharmacy Magazine.

I spent an hour recently in a dispensary waiting to interview the pharmacist. It was mayhem. That is by no means being derogatory to the highly organised pharmacist, who was on top of her game, or her excellent (and sufficient in numbers) support staff. It was simply the sheer number of demands she was juggling as the tumult raged around her. It was humbling and rather scary.

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By Jeremy Holmes, board member of the Association of Optometrists and a former chief executive and registrar of the RPS.

In the face of pharmacy’s funding cuts, is there something useful pharmacists can learn from the way optometrists operate?

Many community pharmacists look at optometry with something approaching envy. There are obvious similarities – a professional, regulated service combined with a retail business – but the margins on spectacles look very attractive, and the opportunity to offer regular sight tests, even if they are free, is a great way to build loyalty.

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By Mike Holden, Pharmacy Complete.

The one strong message that is coming up from grass roots pharmacy is the need for a clear and singular vision supported by an effective plan for the way forward for community pharmacy. 

One message, one vision, one plan.

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By NPA chief pharmacist Leyla Hannbeck.

If Australia’s experience is anything to go by, we all need to be ready to deal with a particularly bad flu outbreak this year.

NHS chief executive Simon Stevens has warned that the UK could be in for an exceptionally bad flu outbreak this winter. Australia experienced its worst ever outbreak during its winter, and global circulation means there is a risk of the same here.

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