The bank holiday for the Queen’s funeral provides a much-needed moment of reflection, especially after two years of rising to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, writes Ade Williams.

We’re not planning to open on the bank holiday.

Our local health team have been very supportive of pharmacy being able to close, and we're working very hard with the local NHS to mitigate disruptions and plan ahead. If we were one of the pharmacies that had been approached to stay open, we would most likely have stepped up; we would never let the community down.

But we feel very much that this is a sad time of reflection for us as a team. In the last two years especially, pharmacy has just got on with it, in spite of everything else that was going on.

This opportunity to reflect feels very personal, because it feeds into a lot of other potentially unchanneled or unacknowledged senses of loss throughout the last few years of the pandemic.

It’s important we support our team through that, as well as our community as it tries to acknowledge the legacy of the of the late Queen. Her stoicism and real dedication to duty, and her sense of getting on with life and doing what you need to do, really chimes with the pharmacy story.

The difference for community pharmacy, particularly after the pandemic, is that the tank is getting much more diminished with every single passing day. You start to ask yourself: when is that breaking point? How long can this go on?

It’s a concern for anybody that cares about what we do or cares about the values that pharmacy holds. It shows that some things need to fundamentally change.

This winter, with the pressures that everyone will be facing, is not the time for pharmacists to be sitting around worried about the financial sustainability of the business model that they work in.

There will be people who just don’t have the resilience to go back again and carry on. People will start to think: you know what? I don’t want to do this anymore.

The previous funding arrangement for pharmacy was made in a different world. The pandemic and the cost of living now means that there has got to be a revisiting and a reversal to make sure that the package of funding is aligned to that new reality.