In these difficult times for pharmacy, it's heartening to see the NHS's 70th anniversary celebrations show the public's pride and gratitude towards health professionals, says The Pharmacist's editor Beth Kennedy
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few days, you'll have seen that today (5 July) marks the NHS's 70th anniversary.
For the majority of the British public, it seems inconceivable that just 70 years ago they would have been expected to pay for any medical attention they needed. If you ask me, it's still incredible to this day that, thanks to our incredible NHS, we can expect world class care completely free of charge for the majority of conditions.
So now seems like the perfect opportunity to celebrate the fantastic work that goes into the NHS every day, and community pharmacy is no exception to this. For although the sector only makes up a tiny part of the NHS-funded care on offer to patients, the fact that anyone can walk into a pharmacy at any time and receive expert health advice free of charge isn't something to take lightly.
And it seems that the public really is grateful for all that community pharmacy does, judging by the outpouring of support it received when the Government first announced the funding cuts, culminating in an anti-cuts petition in 2016 that garnered 2.4 million signatures – making it the biggest health-related Government petition in history.
If the messages of support for the NHS on social media today are anything to go by, that gratitude is still going strong. People up and down the country are recounting their own stories of how they or their loved ones have benefitted from the NHS, expressing their admiration for the legions of people working in it.
So next time the weight of the pressure on community pharmacy threatens to crush your spirit, remember just how much the work you do is valued by the public. When it comes down to it, that support will always be there when the sector needs it most.