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C+D’s editor says goodbye…and welcomes his successor

In his final day at C+D, editor James Waldron looks back at eight years covering community pharmacy – and introduces his successor

When I finished my first week as a freelance reporter at C+D back in 2011, I couldn’t have known I would have the privilege of one day leading the brand as its editor. But I was immediately won over by the enthusiasm and professionalism of the pharmacists I interviewed, not to mention the sheer range of opportunities – and obstacles – facing the sector.

It may be rose-tinted glasses, but in a pre-funding cuts era, it seemed like the pace of developments in community pharmacy was slower. My first feature-length article was on the “urgent” need to decriminalise dispensing errors – a move that didn’t become law for another seven years.

But events in pharmacy – as with the wider world – seem to have accelerated in recent times. As editor for the past four years, I’ve tried to ensure C+D has reflected this – whether that’s increasing our digital presence, moving into podcasts, events and live video streams, or simply asking our readers what you expect from us.

Ultimately, this led C+D to head to parliament last autumn, to force politicians to recognise that an increasing number of you are working under unsustainable workloads. We also took to the airwaves to raise awareness of the tireless – and often thankless – job you do dealing with growing medicines shortages, and we continue to shine a light on the impact thoughtless funding cuts are having on pharmacies in England.

Welcoming C+D’s next editor

After more than eight brilliant years, I have mixed emotions about leaving. I’m sad to wave goodbye to a brand I’m so passionate about, but delighted to welcome on board my successor. Beth Kennedy will be the 18th person to sit in the editor’s chair in its 160-year history. As a journalist who cut her teeth reporting for C+D, I’ve already had the pleasure of working alongside Beth in the past, and I know she – alongside deputy editor Nora Elias and the incredibly talented team behind them – will do an excellent job continuing to inform, champion and support community pharmacy.

Finally, I would like to thank all of the readers who have welcomed me into your pharmacies (I must owe you a lot of cups of tea), grabbed me for a chat at the C+D Awards, offered advice and encouragement and – most importantly – supported myself and the team as we did our best to support you.

You are an incredibly passionate, dedicated and inspirational profession. It’s been my privilege to meet and write about you all, and I’ll continue to follow your progress with a keen interest.

James Waldron is editor of C+D. Tweet him @CandDJamesW

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