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Professional superiority isn’t big and it isn’t clever

By Beth Kennedy

05 Mar 2019

Our editor-in-chief is sick of community pharmacists being at the bottom of the healthcare professional pile

If you’re like me, then you’ll be bored and frustrated with the ongoing narrative of practice vs community pharmacists.

Bored because we seem to have been having the same conversation for years about why practice pharmacists can’t hog the ‘clinical’ moniker given that they do no more training than their peers in the community.

And frustrated that they are clearly the apple of the Government’s eye – with millions put by in funding to place a practice pharmacist in every English GP practice — often at the expense of community pharmacy.

Unfortunately, the Government’s extra funding for so-called ‘clinical pharmacy’ seems to have gone to some practice pharmacists’ heads, according to the contents of a new report. That’s the only explanation – although not a justification – for some respondents referring to community pharmacists as ‘less than scrupulous’ and  ‘checking monkeys’.

Obviously, this rhetoric is far from helpful and undermines the fact that community pharmacists do a fantastic job of looking after their patients, despite the constrained financial circumstances they find themselves in now.

It makes me wonder how we have got to this – GPs disparaging pharmacists is one thing. But for practice pharmacists to insult members of their own profession, something has gone seriously awry.

It is up to the Government to stop justifying this nonsense by redressing the balance and funding community pharmacy properly. After all, pharmacists of every sector have one very important thing in common: whether you work in a community, practice or hospital setting, you are there to serve your patients.

So enough with the petty name-calling, practice pharmacists. It’s not big and it’s not clever.

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