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By Alexander Humphries*

Last week I met a Syrian refugee, which was a humbling but extremely rewarding experience. It’s a shame I can’t say the same about another recent encounter...

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The CPCS will help us reposition pharmacy and show decision-makers what we can do, says Malcolm Harrison, chief executive, Company Chemists’ Association.

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Community pharmacies are a lifeline for people who need healthcare the most, says NPA vice chair and chair of policy and practice, Andrew Lane.

 

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The clinical service agenda is pharmacy’s best hope for a change in fortunes, says NPA vice chair and chair of policy and practice, Andrew Lane

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The new contract is simply part of the DHSC plan to force closures, says Sheffield pharmacist Chris Armstrong

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By Alexander Humphries*

Even Donald Trump would find it difficult to call the new contract settlement “the best deal in the history of deals” but the ink is now dry and we have to make the most of it...

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By Alexander Humphries

For community pharmacists the last few years have been an emotional roller-coaster, from the pits of despair to the giddy heights of... mere despondency.

If you are anything like me, you will have been living hand-to-mouth, struggling to pay the bills at the end of the month, while the decision-makers from their insulated metropolitan bubbles look to strangle the sector financially because they perceive there are too many pharmacies.

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By patient representative Graham Prestwich

Four themes stood out for me at the symposium, which was organised by NHS England/ NHS Improvement.

Firstly, the language used, ‘deprescribing’, is not the best and not always helpful. Everyone I spoke to recognised this and, as a wide variety of people are involved, the most appropriate words may vary.

Clearer descriptions will and must emerge as this work progresses. What was agreed is that this is about improving health and wellbeing, about making sure that people for whom medicines are no longer beneficial are no longer prescribed them. Good quality care invariably costs less for everyone involved, and most of all for patients themselves. The healthier we feel, the better – and the less likely we are to require health services.

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By Simon Dukes, chief executive PSNC

You may well be thinking that primary care networks (PCNs) is just another primary care shake-up. In some ways it is – but there are some important ways in which this one is different for us.

First, this change is going to reroute a lot of primary care funding directly through networks of GP practices while specifying seven key services that these networks must deliver.

Some of these services are due for roll-out from April 2020 and they include structured medication reviews (by clinical pharmacists), enhancing health in care homes, anticipatory and personalised care, supporting early cancer diagnosis, CVD diagnosis and prevention, and local action to tackle inequalities.

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My mobile phone network knows that unless it keeps me happy I can easily (well, quite easily) move to another network. The same cannot be said about PMR systems.

It is very difficult to move to another supplier – particularly when the big companies provide pretty much the same offering in terms of price, service and technology. I just don’t get any sense that they view pharmacies as customers, and they seem to have little interest in the way that our businesses are changing.

Unless we can find a way to change this dynamic, the gap between what our technology can do, and what we want it to do, will grow and grow. This could potentially be crippling to pharmacy businesses in an age when customers are increasingly chasing digital by default and struggle to engage with analog pharmacy systems.

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