Keep calm and carry on

Analysis

Keep calm and carry on

The expected July 21 deadline for an announcement on funding cuts has been and gone, and the government has backtracked on its idea to encourage more widespread adoption of hub and spoke. So far, so good.

NPA chairman Ian Strachan is praising everyone who took part in the campaign against the cuts because, aside from demonstrating the profession’s enormous public support, the campaign has made government think twice about the ill- conceived measures. While Mr Strachan admits that no news is not necessarily good news, a new prime minister and a new pharmacy minister at least provide hope that the new brooms might sweep away some of the apparent reluctance to listen to the case for pharmacy.

In the meantime, it’s business as usual at the community pharmacy coalface, delivering excellent patient care under testing circumstances, while the silly season encourages speculation about the political future despite very little actually happening. Many businesses, large and small, are carrying on regardless, and independent pharmacies should be no exception. Celesio’s takeover of Sainsbury pharmacies and Northern Ireland wholesaler Sangers, and Teva’s takeover of Actavis, show the wheels of industry turning relentlessly, with some impact on independent pharmacy inevitable.

As conditions across the NHS become increasingly difficult, the best way that independent community pharmacists can demonstrate their worth is by continuing to deliver an excellent service, to constantly innovate, and to put patients first wherever possible. Community pharmacy must continue to demonstrate that it really is indispensable.

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