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Alan Hicks: consumer health visionary

Alan Hicks, a pioneer of POM to P switches, passed away on April 9.

Free falls risk assessment toolkit launched

Pharmacists can download free electronic falls risk assessment toolkit from the internet

GPhC launches consultation on practice standards

Nine new standards to replace existing standards of conduct, ethics and performance

Dealing with the DH bombshell

The pre-Christmas bombshell announcement on cuts to the community pharmacy budget has been exercising minds locally and nationally. Today, I am at the House of Commons making a presentation sponsored by Kate Hoey MP. Other than MPs, the invited audience includes GPs, nurses, hospital consultants, local authority councillors, CCG chairs, people from Healthwatch, social services, patient groups and NHS England and, of course, pharmacists, including NPA and Pharmacy London chairs and the RPS president – a really eclectic group! Unfortunately, a consultant from St Thomas’ cannot come due to the junior hospital doctors’ strike, which is also today.

Society issues guidance on electronic health records

Electronic health records guidance produced by RPS

Health Warning

I am profoundly disturbed by the government’s decision to cut our funding by 6 per cent: it is no less than an act of wanton destruction. By the government’s own estimates, as many as 3,000 pharmacies could be forced out. Obviously, our representative bodies should present a united front to fight this cut, but from what I have seen they haven’t actually grasped the underlying issue – that this is simply another step in a cynical assault on the NHS.Pharmacy Voice produced the most vigorous protest, but it won’t have the slightest effect.

No snogging in this business

Just when you thought ‘spellcheckophobia’ couldn’t be any scarier than a wooden frying pan, I was doing a snagging list for one of my rental properties. Anybody in the rental business knows about HMOs (houses in multiple occupation), sections 13 and 21 and, of course, the very expensive section eight, of the Housing Act.I have rented out houses since the 1990s and have built up a portfolio in double figures. What started out as a hobby can be quite a headache at times.

Half of independents may use hub and spoke, government predicts

Up to 50 per cent of independents will use hub and spoke, predicts government

Shame on the junior doctors

Junior doctors in England went on strike for a second time on February 10. Shame on them! Call themselves professionals? I was always told that being a professional set a calling apart. Members of a profession put the public interest above their own. There are codes of conduct embodying this selfless approach. Indeed, the current code for doctors requires them to put patients first. As I have said before, I don’t see how doctors can do that if they are on strike.

So, you made an error?

Numark’s Gary Choo explains how to minimise the risks associated with dispensing errors

You are the missing link

Pharmacy bodies working together, so should contractors by collecting petition signatures

NHSE claims success at reducing antibiotic prescribing

Antibiotic prescribing down 7.9 per cent in 2015 compared to 2014

The difference between Optive eye drops explained

Leyla Hannbeck shares answers to topical questions put to the NPA's Information Dept

Snake venom used to develop blood clotting medication

Clotting medication unaffected by blood-thinning drugs developed with snake venom

NPA delivers 'Support Your Local Pharmacy' message

NPA delivers pharmacy support message to Skipton House

A friend indeed

Charles Gladwin looks back on 175 years of Pharmacist Support

FMD – coming soon

The Falsified Medicines Directive will apply across Europe from February 2019

Choices and decisions

There’s no doubt the Department of Health has managed to achieve what it intended with the funding cuts. Pharmacy has become a frenzy of engagement, activity and debate – something our representative bodies have never before been able to achieve. Despite years of endless conferences, campaigns and even a government-backed call to action, it’s taken a £176m threat to our income to jump-start a reaction.

Giving skincare a makeover

We review the medicated skincare category

Giles Pharmacy wins national Alphega award

Monika and Archie Unger recognised by Alphega for their high standards

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