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Role of pharmacists will be strengthened in 2014, say reps

Pharmacists can expect to see their position in the NHS grow stronger over the coming year, predict industry bosses

The sector's role within the NHS will be strengthened in 2014 as pharmacists become recognised as care providers, pharmacy leaders have predicted.

Pharmacists will become more involved within an "integrated health and social care system", as set out in the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's (RPS) Now or Never report in November, RPS head of corporate communications Neal Patel told C+D.

Independent Pharmacy Federation chief executive Claire Ward said she hoped the vision outlined in the report would become a reality, with community pharmacy becoming "more integrated with primary care delivery" over the next 12 months.

Pharmacy will become "more integrated with primary care delivery", says Independent Pharmacy Federation chief Claire Ward

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Numark managing director John D'Arcy said pharmacy needed to be "recognised as a service provider to the NHS" in 2014 and "accepted as a full-fledged member of the primary healthcare team".

However, he warned that it would be another challenging year for pharmacy, with funding and the "growing problem" of stock shortages remaining the key issues.

"The challenge continues to be to secure the proper funding to support the changing pharmacy model. At the same time, [pharmacy] will face a challenge getting funding to support the continuation of locally enhanced services, given that negotiations will be with new bodies against new criteria," he told C+D.

Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott said he expected leading local professional networks (LPNs) to start making an impact on the health sector and creating opportunities for "cost-effective commissioning" in community pharmacy.

How confident are you that the role of pharmacists will be strengthened this year?

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Paul badham, Community pharmacist

Bit like the governments economic policy,telling house prices are rising so we spend more,tell us pharmacy is going places every year so we as pharmacist employees work that bit harder for less,and less salary,less esteem,we haven't really got any guys,the public still think all we do is count smarties.yes u could say I am angry,the GPC at a Health review hearing rendered me unemployable,some Mickey Mouse being forc ably retired I don't have to do what anybody tells me!

Paul badham, Community pharmacist

Good luck with that,heard same thing every year,and nothing changes or ever will.

Pharmacist Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Its been a while since I contributed with a positive comment on the future of pharmacy. I am going to leave my pessimism behind and embrace the upcoming positive future of pharmacy and pray to God that 2014 will be the beginning of something good for pharmacy, particularly the community sector. Lets all not forget the tremendous amount of work primary care pharmacy has put into healthcare, yet unfortunately they are often forgotten and not acknowledged for their work.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

Congratulations to all. More pharmacy people should get recognition!

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