Information is power, so pharmacists must make sure that they keep abreast with changes to the profession, says The Pharmacist's editor-in-chief Beth Kennedy
Is it just me, or has there been a feeling of tense anticipation in community pharmacy of late? A sense that a lot could change very quickly, with few clues as to how the sector will fare as a result? There’s certainly plenty going on, but a lot of it is going on behind the scenes – at least for now.
Take, for example, all that is happening with the pharmacist apprenticeship proposals. So far, we’ve managed to track down some information about who was involved in coming up with the plans and why. We still don’t know what the next steps will be – if, indeed, there are to be any.
Then there’s the negotiations between the Government and the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) for the next funding deal, which kicked off last month. While PSNC has drawn up a list of what it would like to see from the contract, including a multi-year arrangement and better reimbursement for dispensing, it is understandably tight-lipped about its talks with the Government while a deal is being agreed. We do not know at this stage how close a deal is to being finalised.
All of this means that pharmacists at the coal face are being kept in the dark as to the future of their profession, which obviously makes it difficult for contractors to make plans for their businesses. While we at The Pharmacist will continue to dig for details on the latest news, the best way to prepare for whatever the future throws at the sector is to keep as up to date as possible with all the changes the sector is going through.
They say that information is power - something that pharmacy could use as much as it can get of in these trying times. That’s where our sister event Pharmacy Forward comes in. Held in Birmingham on Sunday 12 May, it aims to gather together a mixture of pharmacy leaders and contractors to pose and answer key questions about where the profession is headed. With everything from unpicking the changing landscape of community pharmacy to automation on the agenda, it promises to be a thought-provoking day.
We hope to see you there.