Answering questions from delegates at the chief pharmaceutical officer's conference in London yesterday (March 15), Keith Ridge made the admission while discussing how the government is “trying to support community pharmacy as best we can”.
While telling the audience that he has “no doubt” that “many [pharmacy] staff” want to engage with “medicines optimisation and many other things [related to] patient safety“, Dr Ridge admitted that he has “visited less [pharmacies] recently” because he is “not sure I’m welcome”.
Answering a question from contractor Tony Schofield on how the sector could innovate, Dr Ridge said: “If community pharmacy owners want to use their staff as effectively as I want you to use your staff, then they need to properly bring that to the table right now, in a way which recognises where the NHS is and what it requires.”
There needs to be “more of a groundswell” from contractors, said Dr Ridge, who also stressed there's no “getting away” from “the financial constraints that we find ourselves in”.
“We are trying to support community pharmacy as best we can – for example, the development around clinical skills,” he added.
Can come to mine. Hopefully demonstrate all we do and discuss the best way forward to the sector to benefit patients, the NHS, and the profession— Amish Patel (@amishpatel1985) March 15, 2018
Me— Manor Pharmacy Group (@ManorPharmacyGP) March 16, 2018
It would be a great opportunity if it was likely to make any impact. Not sure that even a visit to the best community pharmacy in the country would change his direction. So for that reason I’m out!— Allisons Chemist (@AllisonsChemist) March 16, 2018