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Rebalancing board proposals should be considered calmly

The consultation on clarifying the legal obligations of responsible pharmacists and superintendent pharmacists, which closed earlier this month, prompted some predictable caterwauling and finger pointing on social media. Whether the work of the rebalancing board is a stalking horse for remote supervision or a genuine attempt to come up with a regulatory and legislative framework to underpin modern pharmacy practice remains to be seen.

Taking all the emotion and scaremongering out of the equation, the latter seems a more reasonable assumption right now – although we’ll be watching closely to see what the Government decides, including possible changes to GSL medicine legislation. In the meantime, perhaps everyone should take a chill pill.

Somewhat overshadowed by this kerfuffle was a major report from NICE, which called for pharmacy to be fully imbedded into health and care pathways and funded accordingly. In terms of banging the drum for community pharmacy, it was one of the most positive documents in recent years. Let us hope NHS England and Public Health England are listening.

In a busy month, the PDA continues to drip-feed findings from its report into the role of pharmacy technicians, the RPS wants all pharmacists to access independent prescriber training and the spotlight fell uncomfortably on the isolation faced by newly qualified pharmacists. At a time when empathy in the profession can sometimes seem in short supply, it is something to bear in mind.

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