This site is intended for health professionals only

Home / Blogs / What does the future hold for community pharmacy?

What does the future hold for community pharmacy?


By Dr Livingstone
Blogger

01 Nov 2018

Our GP blogger Dr Livingstone ponders on what the next few years could hold for pharmacy

Where will community pharmacy be in ten years time? Indeed, will community pharmacy actually be in ten years time? I ask because I understand that the latest iteration of the pharmacy contract has come with a funding freeze. Which means that all that political breast-beating about pharmacy being a key player in the frontline of the NHS is just so much hot air when it comes to ministers converting platitudes into pounds.

Hence recent doom and gloom headlines about more pharmacies going to the wall. And this doesn’t seem to be just hysterical speculation if my recent experience of local pharmacies is anything to go by. I see a succession of locums, long queues, understaffing and reduced services – and I hear a catalogue of complaints from patients who really are in a good position to know when a pillar of the NHS is crumbling.

At least in general practice, there are funds and a glimmer of a future. True, the dosh only comes in tiny pots and require a soul-destroying level of effort and box-ticking to be prised from clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) and NHS. And, also true, that future – of federating practices taking on the mind-numbing drudgery of multi-morbidity and admissions avoidance and dancing to the tune of the digital revolution – isn’t necessarily the one we thought we’d signed up to. But it’s something.

You’ll know far better than me the end-game for pharmacy. But I’m guessing it might involve closure of some pharmacies – with redundant pharmacists trooping by default into general practice to fill the gaps caused by our workforce crisis.

In which case, we’ll all end up in an NHS we don’t recognise doing jobs we’re no longer wedded to. Which means that primary care will succeed in retaining some good people – at the expense of losing their goodwill.


Want news like this straight to your inbox?


Latest News

Komal George
Strong relationships: Taking your pharmacy from good to exceptional
If you were to ask what makes a great community pharmacy business, you may receive...
Pharmacists are key to NHS survival but viewed through lens of ignorance
It's high time pharmacists and their teams are afforded the respect and parity they deserve, writes Doncaster GP Dr Dean Eggitt  The...
Covid: the Government’s broken promises to community pharmacy
After 18 months of running on fumes, community pharmacy is once again battling for what...