By Alexander Humphries*.

I don’t say this enough, but I love community pharmacy. OK, perhaps not quite as much when it is as tough as it has been recently, but for me it is all about people.

More professionally rewarding for me by far than any amount of clinical interventions or small day-to-day wins is when you can make a real difference to someone’s life. A few meaningful moments make all the other rubbish pale away – and so it has been for me of late.

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By NPA head of communications, Stephen Fishwick.

The NPA has released its ‘Face to face’ report and would like to your views.

Our ’face to face’ report is about the importance of local access and the human touch in healthcare. A number of policy and practice implications arise from this report, so we’d like to invite Pharmacy Magazine readers to give their views.

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By PM editor, Richard Thomas.

Some pharmacists may have been labouring under the misapprehension that the main task of the Government’s rebalancing board was to decriminalise dispensing errors (where the progress made so far has been precisely diddly-squat). So these pharmacists may therefore have been surprised by Mike Hewitson and Ben Merriman’s open letter to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, signed by nearly 500 colleagues.

The two pharmacists wrote to the Society calling on RPS presidency candidates to come out against plans they say are being considered by the rebalancing board to legally allow technicians to supervise pharmacies. The letter pulled no punches, saying it would be a “betrayal” if the RPS did not robustly oppose such a move.

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By Ross Ferguson.

With the global sum for community pharmacy unchanged for 2017/18, we can all breathe a sigh of relief in Scotland.

After the conclusion of what Community Pharmacy Scotland (CPS) called “challenging discussions” with the Scottish Government, the community pharmacy global sum in Scotland remains unchanged at £178.359m for 2017/18. Compared to the situation in England, this seems somewhat more positive.

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By Mark Robinson, pharmacy lead at New NHS Alliance.

It may seem silly to talk about winter pressures in the middle of what is turning out to be a hot summer, but that is when planning should happen.

Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers, said last year “was the busiest winter ever within the NHS”. He went on to say: “The situation is unsustainable, and we must plan now to ensure we don’t put staff and patients under such intolerable pressure next year”.

The King’s Fund has produced reports showing the increased pressure in general practice. The BMA and the RCGP are both worried about how general practice, which is already in crisis, will again cope with another winter. NHS England seems to understand and has promised extra cash through the GP Forward View.

I am reliably told there will be another ‘Pharmacy First’ campaign that will try to explain to the population that they should visit a community pharmacy for a very wide range of conditions before seeing their GP or visiting out of hours or even urgent care services.

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