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Xrayser: Shame on those responsible for the cuts closing pharmacies

"When will the closures come for you?"

Xrayser offers his reaction to the news that Lloydspharmacy is shedding branches that are no longer "commercially viable"

When I read the announcement of Lloydspharmacy closing 190 branches I thought of these words by German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller from the 1940s:

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—

Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me – and there was no one left to speak for me.

You think of the uncertainty that will be felt by 17,000 employees of the company until it’s clear where the axe will fall; the potential loss of almost 2,000 jobs and the effect on employees’ families; the patients affected by those closures – which I estimate could be in excess of 50,000.

Then you start to think about your own job, in your pharmacy, your company, your patients, and wonder who will be next. When will they come for you?

Many years ago I worked in a branch where the rain regularly penetrated the flat roof over my dispensary, and every year the company paid £100 to have it patched. One day the entire ceiling collapsed onto me. The builders said that a proper repair costing £800 would have avoided the rebuilding of £15,000, which is such simple economics. That’s what our pharmacy leaders don’t get. Every £1 they save by closing a pharmacy will cost the NHS £3 in additional expenses; as patients get a prescription instead of buying over-the-counter, or an A&E visit instead of pharmacy advice, or a hospital admission instead of an advanced service. And the NHS don’t get it because they have been misled or lied to or both, so the roof will eventually fall on their heads too.

In the 1950s this country set out to close one third of the railways, identifying 5,000 miles of track and 2,363 stations it considered redundant. Fifty years later that action is considered inept, as we spend billions to put back much of that track. This was due to closures instead of modernisation, and the same is true for the pharmacy network. We accept we can’t be paid just to dispense, but because it has been so badly advised by pharmacists high up in NHS England, the government is not prepared to spend the time and money to modernise its greatest healthcare asset – what I heard described recently as the “largest walk-in centre of the NHS”.

Everyone involved in these pharmacy cuts – introduced with the puerile myopic intention of saving money for the NHS by forcing the closure of community pharmacies through making them uneconomical – should be ashamed of themselves. Any of those who are also fellows of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society should be stripped of that honorific. They have not advanced the profession of pharmacy, they have diminished it and blighted lives of staff and patients. Shame on you all.

13 Comments

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

"Everyone involved in these pharmacy cuts – introduced with the puerile myopic intention of saving money for the NHS by forcing the closure of community pharmacies through making them uneconomical – should be ashamed of themselves. Any of those who are also fellows of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society should be stripped of that honorific. They have not advanced the profession of pharmacy, they have diminished it and blighted lives of staff and patients. Shame on you all."

you can hear it now, when the dust has settled on the demise of community Pharmacy..." I was only obeying orders"...

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Xrayser obviously completely misunderstands the situation, you have to be polite and  offer free lunches and plaudits to get anywhere, look at the prgress we have made so far! Being vociferous, combative,challenging and making thiose responsible feel humiliated would only get  our funding cut, services cut and the profession relgated to forgotten status...

Dave Downham, Manager

I do hope you're being sarcastic!

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

I thought I was... must try harder...

Pharmacy HLP, Manager

free blood pressure checks etc

Every day we doing work that used to happen in dr surgeries

If even a 1000 close down the rest are going to be overwhelmed with patients needing free advice

Morning after pill

Flu jabs  etc

 

We are handcuffed to Dispensing to gain income so looking to diversify or transfer the skills I have into something else, this is the bleakest time in many years.

 

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Inevitable resuts when community pharmacy is run by thieves, liars and crooks. What did you all expect ?*

*This comment has been edited to comply with C+D's community principles*

David Henry, Community pharmacist

I feel for all those affected but Lloyds have to amputate the gangrenous toe to save and protect the rest of the body. This decision would not have been taken lightly

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Moron

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

The government stated it wanted 3000 pharmacies to close . 200 to go from Lloyd's that means only 2800 more to go to achieve their target.

 

Locum Pharmacist, Locum pharmacist

I just hope the independents survive, the multiples already have a monopoloy and have ruined pharmacy.

Aisha Adnan, Community pharmacist

Xrayser pretty mich summed it up for me 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Yes. Speak up now before there's nobody left to speak. Multinationals based overseas in tax havens are perhaps not the best voices to call upon in our defence. Julie Cooper seems to understand and perhaps that's where we should enlist help? The government ignored the petition. What options are there left?

Dave Downham, Manager

Hear, hear, Sir

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