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How the funding cuts are affecting me: ‘We could have cut staffing levels but it would have compromised on safety’

By Léa Legraien

27 Jun 2018

Part of the Pharmacist’s series on how the funding cuts are affecting ordinary pharmacists, a Lincolnshire pharmacy superintendent explains the impact they are having on his business


Chris Mulimba (pictured, far left), superintendent pharmacist, The Riverside Pharmacy, Sleaford


‘ We have seen a fall in our NHS income. Without stating figures, I can say that [our financial loss] has been quite substantial.


‘The impact of the cuts would have been worse than expected had the business not been proactive in developing services.


‘We looked at developing new private services and other NHS services such as medicine use reviews (MURs).


‘It would have been easier to cut staffing levels. However, it would have potentially compromised patient safety and our excellent customer service. It’s important to have staffing levels and skillmix that is right for the business.


‘I have a good team of counter staff, dispensing assistants and technicians who are well equipped to carry out their support role and to deliver services such as smoking cessation.


‘I invested in staff training and development and trained them to deliver the Lipotrim pharmacy-based weight management system.


‘I made sure that all my pharmacists and locums had the necessary training, accreditation and relevant competences to deliver locally-commissioned public health services and enhanced services.


‘As an independent prescriber, I set up a private travel health service providing travel advice and vaccinations.


‘I’m not confident about the future and don’t know what it shall spring upon us or what changes will be introduced.


‘It appears that pharmacists – who do a fantastic job seeing patients and customers, usually without appointment – are expected to take on extra jobs in order to relieve GPs of pressure and yet no extra funding is available to the sector.’

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