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Be kind to yourselves …

As 2008 draws to a close and we start to look forward to next year,there cannot be many people without anxieties. Even pharmacists are notimmune to the financial squeeze and there are already some casualties

As 2008 draws to a close and we start to look forward to next year (2009), there cannot be many people without anxieties. Even pharmacists are not immune to the financial squeeze and there are already some casualties (p719).

Most pharmacists will have a friend or relative who is not sure whether they will still be in employment in a year’s time and people with sons or daughters of university age who are not studying vocational subjects will be concerned about their future prospects — developing a career will not be easy during 2009 and beyond.

However, even though 2008 may not have turned out quite how we all hoped personally, much has happened in the past year in the health service and in pharmacy that indicates strong foundations have been laid.

Our Review of the year (p724) shows how much groundwork has now been done: establishment of the new professional body and the General Pharmaceutical Council is proceeding apace; and the White Paper in England could change the perception of what pharmacy means — not only for its practitioners but for politicians, policy makers and, it is to be hoped, patients.

Pharmacy in Scotland is well travelled down that road and, in Wales, restructuring the health service should help streamline services. The authors of this week’s Agenda article (p732) underline the point that success depends on changing the culture of pharmacy — is the profession prepared for that?

So, 2009 looks as if it will be the year when the first floor of the new pharmacy culture is built. The year will be punctuated by consultations — those on the prospectus for the professional body and the Order underpinning the GPhC will be followed by a consultation on amendments to the Society’s Charter, and another on supervision arrangements.

Everything is not doom and gloom, of course, and this year’s Christmas miscellany does, we hope, help lift the spirits: “Billy, goats, Brinkley” (p741) will only not find favour with the most miserable of people while our competition, “Can you spot the differences?” (p760), is suitable for all ages.

If anyone likes to make New Year resolutions, one might be a decision to participate in at least one consultation a month or to register on PJ Online if you have not already done so. But be kind to yourselves next year and for every resolution that demands you deny yourself something, commit yourself to two that will make your life enjoyable.

We will be back on 10 January 2009, although PJ Online will be updated regularly throughout the holiday period.

Best wishes for Christmas and the New Year from everyone at PJ Publications!

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10043906

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