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Challenges lie ahead say profession leaders

Pharmacy News

Challenges lie ahead say profession leaders

A seasonal ‘thank you’ message to pharmacists from the UK’s four chief pharmaceutical officers and the chief executives of the GPhC and PSNI comes with a warning that there are likely to be challenging times ahead.

“We know that everyone working in pharmacy is continuing to experience high and sustained demands and pressures, and exceptional challenges such as Group A streptococcus infections, during this very busy winter period,” the joint communication says.

It goes on: “We want to express our gratitude for your continued professionalism and hard work, and your efforts to provide the best possible services to patients and the public.

“It’s clear that there will be further challenges ahead over the coming weeks and months and that this pressure is likely to be exacerbated by staff shortages due to sickness or caring responsibilities. We recognise that the impact on pharmacy teams both personally and professionally will be significant and potentially prolonged throughout the coming months.”

Pharmacists are urged to use their professional judgement to assess and mitigate risk, and to deliver safe and effective care for patients, and are re-assured that “in the unlikely event” that they are referred to the regulator, the context they were working in at the time will be taken into consideration.

“We also expect employers, educational supervisors, professional bodies and national health and social care organisations to take the challenging situations you may be facing into account,” the communications says.

In response to worrying reports of pharmacy teams experiencing abuse and even violence from members of the public, the communication asks pharmacy owners whether there are any further steps they could take to reduce the risk of staff experiencing abuse or violence.

The communication is signed by Andrew Evans (CPhO for Wales), Cathy Harrison (CPhO for Northern Ireland), Trevor Patterson (chief executive, PSNI), Duncan Rudkin (chief executive, GPhC), Alison Strath (CPhO for Scotland) and David Webb (CPhO for England).

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