To mark the 75th birthday of the NHS, The Pharmacist has sought a selection of ‘birthday wishes’ from across the profession and is encouraging others to join the conversation on Twitter using #NHSBirthdayWish.
We have asked those working in both community and practice settings to share their hopes for the future of the NHS, as it celebrates 75 years since it was launched.
Those within the sector have told us they wish for pharmacy to always have ‘a seat at the table’ and for the health service to make ‘full use’ of pharmacy professionals. While others have renewed calls for increased support, funding and resources for the profession.
A collection of birthday wishes from the profession:
Shilpa Shah – Chief executive of the North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee:
‘The NHS is a fabulous institution. My wish is for it to be there for everyone who needs it for the next 75 years and beyond. My wish is for patients who use the NHS to have a great experience every time. This can only be achieved if we all work together and always put the patient at the heart of all that we do.’
Dr Leyla Hannbeck – Chief executive of the Association of Independent Multiple Pharmacies
‘While we’re celebrating 75 years of the NHS, we should use the occasion to think about the next 75. The country was very different back then, and today’s NHS needs to cater for a modern, bigger nation with greater healthcare demands and expectations.
‘That means embracing community pharmacies, treating us as a pillar of the NHS along with GP surgeries and hospitals. That entails putting us one an equal footing, affording us the same respect and funding us properly.’
Dr Graham Stretch – President of the Primary Care Pharmacy Association
‘The NHS makes full use of pharmacist and pharmacy technician’s potential, with training, resources and support, so every patient gets the very best from their medicine at home, in care or in hospitals.’
Thorrun Govind – TV pharmacist and former chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society England board
‘My NHS 75 birthday wish is that pharmacy is always included and that it always has a seat at the table. And not only does it have a seat at the table, but it’s also listened to and included in every conversation about healthcare.
‘I really hope that in the future, the full potential of community pharmacy is recognised and utilised, and that the sector is funded to support the workforce who are at the heart of everything the NHS does.’
Janet Morrison - Chief executive of Community Pharmacy England
‘This NHS birthday we celebrate all our pharmacy colleagues and teams across the country working tirelessly to support communities with their health needs every day. As the NHS marks this milestone of 75 years, we trust that it will recognise the hard work, dedication, skills and key contribution of community pharmacy within it.
‘Community pharmacies are an integral part of the NHS, with millions of people relying on their services every day. Our #NHSBirthdayWish is for pharmacies to be fully valued, supported and funded, and for the full potential of community pharmacy to be utilised within the NHS in years to come.
‘We believe in an ambitious future for pharmacies and the communities they serve, but this will involve a community pharmacy sector that is sustainably funded, and reduced pressures on all those who work in it.’
Nathan Burley – Public health and sexual health services pharmacist, President of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
‘We must not forget the phenomenal impact of the NHS on public health – improved life expectancy, reduced infant mortality, and a sharp focus on preventive medicine with developments in mass vaccination. The next 75 years must see successive governments keep these achievements aloft and build on them with a world-leading health and social care workforce.’
Ashley Cohen – Managing director at Pharm-Assist (Healthcare) Ltd
‘As the NHS reaches this landmark birthday, it is essential that community pharmacy teams are supported so that we can continue to work in partnership with our other fellow professions to help identify and treat those with self-limiting minor illnesses, and also support and treat those with longer term health conditions.
‘Pharmacy professionals are available with excellent access to help triage patient through the system and to take pressure of other areas and sectors. We look forward to being fully recognised and embedded within the NHS family as part of the long-term solution.’
Malcolm Harrison – Chief executive of the Company Chemists Association
‘Today marks the 75th anniversary of the formation of the NHS. We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to everyone who works tirelessly for the health services across England, Scotland, and Wales.
‘We look forward to working with the NHS as it continues to evolve to meet the needs of the patients today and in the future.’
Laura Buckley – Primary care network pharmacist, Primary Care Lead at the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
‘On the NHS’ 75th birthday, we acknowledge the monumental impact of its services for all the generations that have benefitted from healthcare that’s free at the point of access, and for all the generations yet to come.
‘For all the pharmacy teams that have upheld medicines safety and provision within the NHS, the next 75 years should see enhanced and well-funded service provision and development in a unified profession, with the value of teams recognised for their outstanding contribution to healthcare.’
Raffaella Woolmer – Third year pharmacy student at UCL and intern student at Argyle Surgery
'I'd like to see a future where the different pharmacy professions progress in a way that complements and enables each other to maximise each other’s expertise and skillset, improving patient care and making the best use of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and even students.’
Nicola Goodberry Kenneally – Chief executive of Community Pharmacy West Yorkshire
‘Our wish is for community pharmacy to be truly integrated into the NHS system where our skilled pharmacy teams are utilised within their PCN's for delivery of clinical services to support the wider NHS and our patients.’
Aaman Khan - Third year pharmacy student at UCL and intern student at Argyle Surgery
‘My hope for the NHS on its 75th birthday is to witness increased opportunities and funding for pharmacy students to work in primary care settings. Increasing this investment would not only enrich our learning experience but also contribute to the development of a well-rounded pharmacy workforce with a greater skillset and portfolio of experience.’
Ifesi Anyamene – Superintendent pharmacist/director, Fieldway Pharmacy, Croydon
'I would like to see pharmacy become an integral part of primary care. If we are equipped with the right tools, we can support patients more clinically as we are adequately trained for this and this will reduce pressure on the GPs.'
Ade Williams – Director and Superintendent Pharmacist, M J Williams Pharmacy Group, prescribing pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy and Broadmead Medical Practice, Bristol
'The NHS exists because of our willingness to not settle for what is easy to achieve, but to strive for what is best. Community pharmacy teams are the hands of the NHS, delivering the care required with excellence and dedication.
'The future of the NHS in meeting such insurmountable needs requires joined up, innovative and collaborative approaches that prevent, protect and enhance health and wellbeing. A revolution in delivering community-based health with community pharmacy playing its rightful role is undoubtedly a key to this.
'We are ready; please let us do so.'
Please join the conversation on Twitter and share your #NHSBirthdayWish