For far too long contractors have offered a fantastic service because they could just about afford to. However, recently my pharmacy stopped taking on any new monitored dosage systems (MDS) patients due to lack of time, and therefore safety.
We now signpost to other pharmacies still willing to take them on. Bravo to them, as I’m certainly not putting any more pressure on my staff.
Therefore, I would like the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) to consider the following when it comes to discussing the next pharmacy contract:
1. Rethink MDS
I’m a little fed up with doctors simply sending patients to ask for MDS like it’s a walk in the park! It’s time-consuming and costly.
2. The single activity fee should be higher
Is the value of a safely dispensed item really only £1.26?
3. Fair remuneration
I’m all for a service-based contract, but we will need staff for it and that means fair remuneration for services.
4. Healthy, happy staff
Healthy living pharmacies need healthy staff to run them. The staff need to be paid well – like they deserve – and that can only come from higher up. At the moment, the morale of staff and contractors is at an all-time low.
5. Keep pharmacies open
If the Department of Health and Social Care still wants pharmacies to close, they need to prove how that will save money. If dispensing volumes remain the same, how will closing branches save NHS funding?
6. Cover the printing costs
This one is just for amusement, but I don’t even want to pay for my printer’s toner or drum. Why should we fork out from our measly electronic prescription service payments? There should even be a ‘toner and drum’ fee!
Here’s hoping for a contract that actually makes sense – or we will all need to shut up shop and go home.
The Contractor is an independent pharmacy owner in England