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Pharmacy can fill in cracks appearing in NHS – Numark

Business Pharmacy represents a cost-effective way of “taking the load” off the NHS, Numark managing director John D’Arcy has said, following a warning from the King’s Fund that there are “treacherous waters ahead”.

Community pharmacy represents a cost-effective way of "taking the load" off the NHS, Numark managing director John D'Arcy has said, following a warning from the King's Fund that there are "treacherous waters ahead" for the health service.

Pharmacy was a key resource for the NHS and could do a great deal more in alleviating pressurs on parts of the health service, Mr D'Arcy told C+D, after the King's Fund warned that cracks were beginning to appear in the NHS in a report released last week.

"As NHS organisations struggle to balance their books, they [the government] will inevitably have to cut their suit according to the cloth and this will result in some form of rationing of care," Mr D'Arcy said.

Numark's John D'Arcy said community pharmacy needed "greater integration into mainstream healthcare"

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But he added that community pharmacy represented a cost-effective way of adding real value to improving the health of the population – particularly in managing long-term conditions – and was in need of "greater integration into mainstream healthcare and, of course, proper investment".

In the report, published last Wednesday (November 28), the King's Fund said that overall the NHS was holding up well, although there had been a rise in A&E waiting times since the end of 2009 and a rise in emergency admissions for people with long-term conditions.

But the report warned there were treacherous waters ahead and huge risks in ensuring that quality of care did not suffer with the further financial squeeze.

It was inevitable there would be rocky patches because of the scale of NHS reforms, Independent Pharmacy Federation (IPF) chief executive Claire Ward said, but she raised concerns that the changes at local level would "disrupt the partnerships and expertise that have built up between PCTs and pharmacy".

"We are concerned that, in a new environment, it will take longer to rebuild these key links," Ms Ward said.

"At a local level there is a risk that services such as EHC, smoking cessation and minor ailments will be stopped. This will disadvantage patients primarily but will have an impact on the whole of the health economy," she added.

The report said it was too early to judge the impact of the government's policies on tackling health inequalities and improving the patient experience.

What do you think pharmacy's role should be in the new NHS?

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Peter Cairns, Superintendent Pharmacist

Retired Pharmacist
Does Pharmacy no longer have a role to fill? It seems not if all it can do is "fill in cracks" and hold its hand with the begging bowl.

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

that's right, let's do even MORE work for the same money (or rather less money the way things are going). any day you want to give me a hand john you are very welcome.

Chad Harris, Community pharmacist

I couldn't have put it better myself Farm Assistant!!!
I bet he hasn't worked a week in a pharmacy since John Major was running the country!
Who's gonna paper over our cracks? Because they are starting to rock the foundations.
I am sick to death of John D, Mimi Lau, and don't even get me started on Jon Mason and all his bright ideas.
Did none of them see the C&D mag the other week, the new cancer in pharmacy, STRESS! Or is it only the PDA with no blinkers on?
Come on guys, just give us a break.
Get on that TV show 'Back to the floor', come see the monster you and the PSNC with their 'new' contract have created. Because it's eating all us little people up!
"A decent day's pay for a decent day's work. At the moment most everyday community pharmacists have neither. Just anxiety, stress and depression. And it will only get worse.
It reminds me of the french woman's advice on the TV show 'Lost': "Run, hide, or die" !!!
OK John?!

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

the truth is none of these guys would last five minutes in the average pharmacy. a friend once employed such a muppet as a locum. it took him a week to clear up the mess. and this guy was a rpsgb council member!!!!

Chad Harris, Community pharmacist

I think the C&D should start a campaign to get Jon Mason, Mimi Lau, John D'arcy and one or two other 'top bods' Back to the Floor.
Let C&D follow them with OTCMAG, Chris and his videocam so we can see Jon Mason do an MUR, and follow up an NMS. Let's see them checking trays and doing 500 items. Maybe a couple of smoking cessation and some EHC too. We can give them until Jan to get all the training done. Jon Mason can do it all for his little videos on here.
Come on C&D, go put it to them.
Come walk a mile in my shoes John D.
Go on, I dare you!
We will paper you up if you crack!
We'll even let you bring rent a gob, ( i mean ex-MP) Claire Ward to dispense for you. Just tell her it's like counting smarties! ;)

You see, this is why I have time for people like Martin Astbury, because he actually gets out there, and gets stuck in. If some of these other 'pharmacy leaders' do the same i might actually read some of the garbage coming out of their mouths without pissing myself laughing at their total lack of understanding of everyday, patient contact, dispensing community pharmacy in 2012.
And No, working for a PCT, or a head office DOES NOT COUNT!

Paul Brett, Community pharmacist

A little positivity wouldn't go amiss. We complain when our representatives don't stand up enough for our profession, we also complain that there are too many pharmacists and that salaries are being driven down, the solution to which isn't to try to protect the profession from an influx of new talent but to create and diversify roles with a long term vision for pharmacist's careers. I would rather employ some techs to check my trays & 500 items a day and focus my efforts on using my training to advance the profession and create new roles and job opportunities to improve our employment prospects over the next decade. We should stop clinging to the job as we know it and look towards what pharmacy could become if the proactive people in the profession try to create said opportunities.

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