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Lloydspharmacy investigating locum MUR pressures

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Lloyds will remind its teams to ensure all services are appropriate for the patient
Lloyds will remind its teams to ensure all services are appropriate for the patient

Lloydspharmacy is investigating pressures on locums to hit medicines use review (MUR) targets in one of its branches, the multiple has told C+D.

A locum – who wishes to remain anonymous – photographed the notice below in a Lloydspharmacy branch in south-east England last month.

Lloydspharmacy superintendent pharmacist Steve Howard told C+D the company is “investigating the matter internally”.

Mr Howard stressed that Lloydspharmacy does not set targets for locums and said the company has “addressed” instances where MURs were “delivered inappropriately”.

“While we encourage each of our stores to reach 400 MURs a year, we only do so when patients are eligible and when it’s deemed clinically appropriate by the pharmacist,” said Mr Howard.

“We will remind our teams of their responsibility to ensure that all services we provide are appropriate for the patient,” he added.

Mr Howard did not comment on the notice’s claim that each locum's MURs are “monitored”.

His statement comes a week after Rowlands confirmed that MUR targets are “not optional extras for locums.

77 Comments
Question: 
Are you under pressure to hit MUR targets?

Marcus Jones, Student

I think they are in every pharmacy, maybe we should all start sharing them.

Its not safe to make locums catch up on the full time pharmacists MURs and catch up with the back log of scripts... P

Pressure = Mistake, Mistake = loss you job, Criminal offence -  For what? 

If you don’t do as they ask you don’t get employed again - Ridiculous management and industry. 

Maybe there should be rules in place whereby if a pharmacist makes a mistake under unfair conditions / where they are over worked, put under too much pressure, the management should be criminally liable instead! 

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

Same old, same old story - I think these notices should also be shared with the Guardian as a follow-up story - the story on MURs a year later, and the absolutely useless regulator invited for a statement/comments. That would get a few rockets under some bums! Think we as a profession have been quiet about this for far too long - this is modern/professional exploitation at the expense of a hard-working profession. Time to wake up and do something!

Kristoffer Stewart, Editorial

Thanks for your comment Marcus.
If you, or any of your fellow pharmacists, encounter signs or emails like this, please do share them with C+D. I can be contacted through email on [email protected]
Thanks,
Kristoffer Stewart

Clinical Editor

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I'm curious as to what you will do with them?

Ghengis Pharm, Locum pharmacist

'There are a number of patients ...'  Just saying.

Edward H Rowan, Locum pharmacist

Not sure - the subject of the verb is a singular noun. "number", not "patients".

Marcus Jones, Student

I think the whole MUR policy needs to be looked at 

1) it very rarely adds value to the patient, they are so short, targeted to the wrong people, and the pressure to complete both the MUR and the daily workload is ridiculous.

2) its seen as a way for Pharmacies to subsidise pharmacists pay, adding additional work and pressures to the daily workload. 

I hear most pharmacies say you must do more MUR’s with the same kind of numbers as above, presumably, the full time pharmacist can not keep up with the daily work and complete these, so they are passed to a locum.

More and more I hear staff are overworked, with backlogs from previous days at nearly all stores, but the management seems to focus on MURs rather than completing core services and keeping the end customs happy.

Pharmacy is really going down hill… big time, with a focus of cash drivers rather than providing a service, if they provided the required levels of staff it would fine, but they don’t, they see it as additional income, and further utilisation of the current staff.

In general this is adding more pressure and more risk, its about time there was a limit on what a pharmacist is expected to do in a single day. Like truck drivers, bus driver or others, where public safety is at risk. 

Andrew Jukes, Locum pharmacist

F.A.O Marcus Jones...Hello, I spent 14 months researching MUR's for an MBA project so i'm in the know about all aspects of them and how they impact on Pharmacists and patient safety. I genuinely believe the main theme of your comments detail some very valid and intelligent questions and points, that have not been addressed within the profession.It's a big task to tackle the issues you describe and it has to be done in the right way. If you are interested in seeing more about MUR's and targets/Bullying e.t.c.I have a research paper published...Find me on linkedIn and I'll foward it to you:-)

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I congratulate you on your MBA but a child spending a day in a typical community pharmacy could tell you MURs have zero clinical significance for patients and are simply about the £28.

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

You have not stated whether you have ascertained the true picture of (community) pharmacy before you signed up to study or after. The outlook will not change because core funding was splintered for pseudo clinical box ticking style activities. The pressure will not change as long as pharmacists (employee or locum) are made to jump through hoops to perform these 'services'.

Perhaps you have a chance to change direction before you enter the cauldron of  impossible demands and increasing episodes of  patient verbal abuse -  because you actually wish to provide a safe service instead of a fast food style supply. Of course you may be spared this if cost cutting is used to make technicians responsible (dont rule it out) and there is mass unemployment of pharmacists. There is no shame in changing direction now if you can.

Marcus Jones, Student

is it really coming to this, because Pharmacists do not have (any more) a profession, association, or society that will protect their jobs, and safeguard their employment... To have so many Pharmacists saying "don’t do it", "you have time to change your mind" there must be something really wrong with the profession and how its being managed.

Who is on the board of the GPHC? Pharmacist or company management. What does the Royal Pharmaceutical society do? 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

The GPhC, RPS, government are all in cahoots with the multiples. And this is why everything is going one way. The profession becomes more rotten and corrupt the higher up you go. Talk about quality and patient safety etc.. is purely for PR purposes.

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I believe the jobs you mention are more respected and oincreasingly better renumerated. Iy would be unfair to compare.

Marcus Jones, Student

Not dismissing any profession or job, but how can Bus Drivers, Train Drivers, Truck Drivers, Nurses, Doctors, all other health care providers have more protection and respect than pharmacists... Why is it there professions are protected?

A Pharmacist, is dealing with people health, and safety is a must like all of the above, yet it comes with potential criminal prosecution if we make a mistake or are negligent in any way.

What has happened to this profession?

Where is the GPHC or any other body?

Why is does it all fall on the Pharmacists shoulders and not company management if they put people under duress. Things need to change if this profession is to survive.

The GPHC really need to get their head into gear, before a) there are no pharmacists left b) some serious mistake are made due to the pressures put on them by the companies.

Maybe the editor could approach both the GPHC and RPS for comment.

Maybe ask them what is their role in oversight and protection of the profession and above all their members?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

I know its uncomfortable to hear but let me repeat for you. RPS, GPhC, Government and multiples are all in it together for the sake of money. NOTHING will be done. Universities only want tuition fees(if your chancellor is on six figures per annum as many students as poss must roll through the doors). The only way is DOWN.

C&D rarely if ever ask searching questions of any of the above organisations despite all evidence pointing to the obvious wrong doings.

 You can draw your own conclusions from thi

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Do you pressure your pharmacists to do MURs?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

No

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