So did the Health Secretary deliberately mislead Hilary Benn or will it be like Boris saying there's £350m to spend meaning there erm... won't be?
Comment on: Pharmacists respond to Keith Ridge's claims
Vision? He does indeed and most of us share it. However there exist no mechanisms, no will amongst commissioners, no will from NHSE, no accessible funding to enable it to happen and actually large cuts in funding meaning reduced resource to achieve anything worthwhile whilst putting up with spiteful comments about upping the game. In Canada you aren't dependent on a monopoly supplier and you have significant innovation particularly in accreditation of pharmacists. Don't slag off what you have....if indeed whilst sticking your nose into English affairs you are actually aware of what you have in Canada?
To Dr Ridge
Keith, in January this year you kindly visited our Newcastle pharmacy to see the work we are doing with the local hospital pharmacies in transferring care. We had a spirited, robust and cordial discussion in which I asked point blank what we can do to help deliver your vision. We talked about the fact that the cuts were disproportionately large on bigger contractors who could only survive by cutting staff, quality and services and we also talked about ridiculous holes in the PhAS.
Your reply was that much was pinned on the Pharmacy Integration Fund and getting interesting work commissioned locally. I pointed out that pharmacy will always struggle to be locally commissioned if the wealth of experience since 2005 was any guide. The PhIF was supposed to be rolled out in April.....
We then had the awful stuff that came out of the Judicial Review which demonstrated with absolute clarity, the contempt with which DOH views community pharmacy.
The quality payments are a joke, we all know that. Much of the GP QOF was also but it is the only indication of quality that anyone has put forward and I understand that the response from the profession has been overwhelming.
I note with pleasure your praising of examples of good work from community pharmacy but in the current climate of reduced funding, a delayed and watered down PhIF, cut backs in local commissioning and diminishing chance of being commissioned is it not time for you and your team to up your game?
We want to change in all the ways you want us to change. What are you going to do about it?
I'll be charitable and say that the new board has been occupied with organising itself since the recent elections. I believe the RPS has been doing a great job in offering professional support. Now is the time (and opportunity) to provide professional leadership. Most of the potential members of RPS are in the process of suffering significant harm as a result of the way in which the funding cuts have been implemented. Some of the information unearthed in the judicial reviews has been horrifying and has demonstrated conclusively that a "long game" approach has failed.
If the newly constructed boards take the fight to DOH, particularly on getting a response to the Murray report, they will be showing the craved for leadership. Challenging those pharmacists in the DOH who have presided over the mess would also be a good move and there are many other initiatives that could be launched. When this starts being seen and recognised pharmacists will start to believe being a member is a good thing. Until then " I get my CPD from the C&D" will continually be the refrain from those who can't be recruited.
Superb article. We have the leaders and the profession needs to follow them, up the game and win the arguments by example. Rhetoric alone isn't enough. Helping keep people out of hospital isn't about healthy living pharmacy displays and exercise challenges. It's playing a part in the screening diagnosing and treatment of illness, managing emergencies and minor ailments. Doctors can then treat people they would previously have sent to hospital. Apart from the cost savings ( which will more than pay for our contribution) Hospitals will become more specialist and centres of excellence. For this to happen, ordinary pharmacists must acquire the skills and use them.
The time for talking is over. This is a fight we can't afford to lose but it's a struggle in which actions are the weapons, not lawyers.
Well said Ian Strachan. Who is with him?