COMMUNITY Pharmacy isn’t sexy.
We don’t have the political power of doctors or the huge unquestioning public support that nurses seem to enjoy.
Community pharmacy is a pair of medium, class II, beige, below-knee support stockings.
As individuals we don’t blow our own trumpets loudly enough, if we blow them at all, and unlike the majority of professionals and trades people, community pharmacists provide free services out with their contractual obligations, but under the radar of our NHS paymasters.
Every day we go above and beyond the call of duty to meet the needs of our patients (both health and social care), but we don’t make political capital from it.
It’s time we did.
It’s time we called in the favours and asked the public to support us to ensure the survival of free accessible professional healthcare advice and support in their local communities. We might not be the sexy healthcare profession, but the support we provide to patients is critical. If the strength of the network is damaged by a Government blunderbuss approach to managing pharmacy numbers, the support patients receive will be reduced and impact on healthcare, and the damage may be irreparable.
Ross Ferguson is an ex-contractor, has been lead community pharmacist and pharmacy champion for a CHP in Scotland, a member of the contractors’ committee and also has experience as a locum and an employee pharmacist. He is a pharmacy & healthcare writer, member of the RPS Faculty and has created a children’s medicines app, Kid-Dose.
Follow Ross @rosshferguson