IT’S fair to say that over the last few years most of the pharmacy press has run with the doom and gloom stories about increased numbers of pharmacists, meaning less opportunities for all, and an ever decreasing reward for the work we do.
You can’t blame them – that’s what all journalists do, after all The Sun wouldn’t sell many copies if the front page story was always about how fantastic things are and there was nothing to worry about.
However, over recent weeks and months the narrative has shifted. Before Christmas there were increasing mentions about the potential role for pharmacists within the Department of Health (DH) and outside, and this has been followed up by mentions by Simon Stevens, the head of the NHS, and then there was the recent commitment to spending £15 million to fund 300 practice-based pharmacists across England.
So, 300 pharmacists is a start, but it’s not enough to support improved patient outcomes. However, if we can show, as a profession, that we can make a real difference and not only reduce costs but optimise the use of medication as a whole, we may well have reached low tide without even knowing it and looking ahead to waves of opportunities in the future.
Shaun Hockey is pharmacist. He runs a medical recruitment company, Medacy. Check out his site for vacancies.
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