Higher profile equals greater scrutiny

The price of pharmacy’s higher profile these days is greater scrutiny from the media. What the sector absolutely does not need now, as it mounts an increasingly effective campaign to muster public support over the clear and present threat to the network, are banner headlines in The Guardian about Boots staff under pressure to “milk the NHS for cash” with their MURs.

Whatever the veracity or otherwise of the story – and it is important to stress that Boots has always insisted that MURs should never be undertaken inappropriately by its pharmacists – the company has struggled to shake off a reputation of having a target-driven culture when it comes to its professional services. Stories like this clearly don’t help.

While community pharmacy as a whole has wrestled for years with reconciling clinical care with payment thresholds and incentives, this does not seem to be a problem that overburdens GPs. We look forward to the next Guardian exposé on the unrelenting quest for QOF points...

Workplace pressures is just one of a whole host of areas explored by an extensive attitudinal survey of pharmacists carried out by CIG Research, a division of Communications International Group, parent company of Pharmacy Magazine, which we will be reporting on in detail later this month. From how pharmacists view their changing role to how they rate their representative organisations, it shines a spotlight on community pharmacy in 2016. It makes for an interesting and revealing read. Look out for it.

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