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Xrayser: We could all do with some good advice

"It's just me in the dispensary with a coffee machine and a bucket. But no time to talk - got to do MUR, NMS and flu jab"

A new dawn has broken and brought the Pharmacy Advisor with it, imagines Xrayser

Amelia Smith walked into her local pharmacy. A chest infection had exacerbated her asthma and the doctor had given her a new steroid inhaler. At the pharmacy door she was greeted by a lady wearing a bright white uniform and a sash that said “Pharmacy Advisor”. The lady smiled and said: “Good morning. How can I advise you today?”

Amelia was a little taken aback. “Um, I’ve got a prescription.” “No problem,” said the lady. “My name’s Cassie and I’ll be your Pharmacy Advisor today. Now, a prescription – have you booked? Our pharmacist is very busy dispensing this morning but I’m sure
he can fit you in. Will you also be partaking of our other services? Let me take you to the advice desk.”

“Now then,” said Cassie, “We can offer a range of services today. Firstly, I see that you qualify for a medicines use review (MUR) and a new medicine service (NMS) consultation – we can do those together – and you are fortunate to be entitled to a free flu jab, so I’ll add that too.

“Can I interest you in anything else off the list? Smoking cessation, weight management?” Amelia frowned. “No, my cough is bad and I just want my prescription.” “OK, well I’ve sent your EPS token details to our hub, so while we wait for them to deliver your prescription maybe our over-the-counter pharmacy advisor can talk you through our new season’s range of cough mixtures.”

A young man appeared over Amelia’s shoulder. “Now, madam, perhaps I can recommend our new 2015 Multicough Flu Strength Anti-tussive?” “Yes, whatever,” said Amelia, “Just let me pay you and get my prescription.”

“Oh no, there’s no one to actually ring up your purchases. You’ll have to pay at the self-scan tills. But before that, please just step inside this room…” As the door swung shut behind her, Amelia realised she was in a consultation room. In a moment, the door opened and a pale thin man with bloodshot eyes walked in and slumped over a desk.

“Oh my goodness!” exclaimed Amelia, “Shall I get the pharmacist for you?” “I am the pharmacist,” he croaked. “But you look exhausted,” said Amelia, “Don’t you have any support staff?”

The pharmacist laughed. “One large pharmacy multiple changed its dispensers to Pharmacy Advisors and now our company has done the same. It’s just me in the dispensary with a coffee machine and a bucket. But no time to talk – got to do MUR, NMS and flu jab. Sign these consent forms with one hand and roll up your sleeve on the other arm. And please tick the box that allows us to sell your details.”

As Amelia finally left the pharmacy she looked back and saw two large posters in the window. One said “Ask your Pharmacy Advisor – you’ll be taking good advice!” while the other advertised the 2016 “I Love My Pharmacy Advisor” competition.

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janet maynard, Community pharmacist

Would be really funny if there wasn't a huge amount of truth there!

James Mac, Community pharmacist


Margaret O'doherty, Community pharmacist

Well said. Sounds like a recent trip to my bank. They used to have friendly experienced staff in smart uniforms. This time I was met by a very young woman in t-shirt printed 'How can I help?' She told me about all sorts of services like insurance but when I said I wanted to lodge a cheque into my account I had to use a self-service machine!

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

What a great post, best in last ......... god knows how many years !!! Well put Xrayer, now I can have a goodnight sleep with my bloodshot eyes shut ;-)

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