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Now we've lost the argument...

Our correspondent wants to see a change of tune from pharmacy’s representative bodies.

An Onlooker's Notebook - June 2017

I was not surprised to read that Sue Sharpe had decided to call it a day as chief executive of the PSNC at the end of the year.

Fair and square?

The push for local commissioning is laudable, but how can it possibly work, asks Mukesh Lad, chairman of the LIPCO federated group

MAS a victim of success

Cutting back on the succesful Minor Ailments Service in his area – if combined with a ban on the prescribing of OTCs – will add to the pressure on A&Es, says LPC chairman Dilip Joshi

The frustration game

What we all need right now is a dose of good leadership, says Sid Dajani in latest installment of the Bishopstoke Chronicles

It's the election, stupid

Our correspondent questions the reasons for calling a snap election and has some advice on the message that should be delivered to candidates.

Onlooker's notebook - May 2017

This month Onlooker's Notebook questions a recent striking off and ponders which way to vote come 8 June.

Alfred's great prescription

Steve Ainsworth looks at how an early book on medicines is likely to have helped in the treatment of a former monarch.

A lasting legacy

With Pharmacy Voice now closed, Claire Ward takes time to reflect on its achievements

Starting the QPS journey

Independents have a chance to claw back some money via the Quality Payments Scheme, and they ignore this at their peril, says Mukesh Lad

Lessons from Hungary

LPC chairman Dilip Joshi casts an enviable eye over pharmacies in Budapest.

Notes from a secret meeting

Our correspondent draws together the threads running through the judicial review hearing and is very disturbed by what he sees

Onlooker hopes for a Hammond u-turn

Onlooker hopes for a Hammond u-turn and recalls times gone by.

View from the front

Incensed proprietor Sid Dajani finds an official’s briefing on the cuts hard to swallow.  

Some hopes!

Onlooker ponders comments made by pharmacy ministers past and present.

Crying out for common sense

Sid Dajani gets distracted by a meeting about Healthy Living Pharmacy.

The way ahead

As many readers of this column will be aware, Pharmacy Voice will cease to operate in a few months’ time. At this point we are still deciding how and when. The constitution of the company does not allow for it to continue when one of the three member associations (NPA, AIMp and CCA) has given notice, as the NPA did at the end of 2016. Whether Pharmacy Voice exists as the vehicle to support, represent and deliver change on behalf of the community pharmacy sector is no longer the issue. The question is whether the sector still has an important journey to go on collectively, and if so how does it find a new mode of transport when the Pharmacy Voice vehicle is left by the roadside.

Hunt talks tripe

Jeremy’s been at it again – patronising community pharmacy. He’s been telling Parliament that the NHS should not “continue to subsidise pharmacies that are very close to other pharmacies”. It doesn’t make sense, he insisted, claiming that 40 per cent of pharmacies are in clusters of three or more. And, as with the rest of the NHS, community pharmacy has to make efficiency savings. According to him, the government’s “reforms” are “designed to ensure that, where there is only one local pharmacy that people can access, that pharmacy is protected”.

Plus and minus in December

Thursday December 1The dreaded cuts come into effect today in spite of our collective efforts, resulting in a flurry of activity by pharmacy organisations. The NPA has been at the forefront of campaigning, raising an unprecedented 2.2m signatures opposing cuts through community pharmacies in England. I speak to several colleagues, whose views range from anger to disbelief. Many did not expect the cuts to be implemented as proposed, hoping for a last-minute reprieve or, at least, some concession.

Never hurray a Murray

It took him long enough, didn’t it? It’s been 12 years since Keith Ridge was appointed as chief pharmaceutical officer at the Department of Health and finally he’s managed to clear his in-tray and get round to commissioning an independent report on clinical services in community pharmacy – by the director of policy at the King’s Find, Richard Murray. It’s hard to believe, isn’t it? I mean, I know it takes a while to settle into a new job, and I’m sure the poor chap has had his plate full, but you would have thought that with all the problems the NHS is facing at the moment he would have been busier than ever. Still, better late than never, eh?

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