I AM a community pharmacist!
So far as part of my 9 hour shift today, I have dispensed and given out medication to 367 different people equating to 987 different items; had a consultation and supplied a patient with emergency contraception; counselled 2 people on their new anti-coagulation medication, one of which required me to contact their doctor as it interacted with one of her current medicines which could have caused hospitalisation; given out (free of charge) medication for minor ailments to infants and adults who cannot afford to buy it; made 4 significant prescription interventions one of which meant amending antibiotics to prevent an epileptic man having a seizure; dispensed emergency hormonal medication for a patient receiving IVF; communicated with 2 local hospitals to organise the discharge of 3 patients from my town freeing up hospital beds and getting them home for the weekend; given an emergency supply of insulin to a type 1 diabetic on his holidays who left his medication at home; performed first aid on a postman who had been bitten by a dog and is taking warfarin (increased bleeding)…and all of the other things necessary to run a successful pharmacy!
Three things are necessary in order to do the above
1. Excellent support staff!
2. A smile!
3. NHS funding for pharmacy and primary care services!
The government are cutting funding to all community pharmacies in October, which for roughly 3,000 pharmacies will result in closure.
I am only one community pharmacist and have had a very normal day!
Without the pharmacy there today, a number of people could have been in left in very difficult situations!
Proposals by the government will result in increased pressure on GPs and already saturated emergency health care services, unsafe practicing environments, understaffed pharmacies (your prescription will take even longer! ) or no pharmacy at all!
Unfortunately, there isn’t a great deal that can be done and I don’t suppose a petition or strikes will help but, most people who don’t work with or in a pharmacy are completely unaware of the current or future situation!
This blog is written simply to raise awareness of the situation and hopefully get the general public (our patients!) backing us!