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The Pharmaceutical Journal
Vol 268 No 7195 p568-572
27 April 2002

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Letters to the Editor

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Hospital pharmacy

Pharmacist heroes need appreciation

From Mr P. Williams

Dr Beverley Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has said a 3.6 per cent pay rise due this April is not enough to make nurses feel appreciated. Dr Malone said paying more was the most effective way of increasing recruitment and keeping staff. As an undergraduate nearing the end of studies under the burden of student loans, tuition fees and no grant, may I ask where our voice is?

A report in Hospital Pharmacist (July 2000, pp199?201) highlighted the recruitment problems facing hospital pharmacy. With a debt of over £14,000 to consider, I have to admit that higher pay was a large deciding factor in opting for community pharmacy. With possible reforms in the pipeline for community pharmacy, I hope that I will be able to put four years of undergraduate study to good use over and above current requirements, but I believe that hospital pharmacy would have allowed greater use of clinical knowledge gained.

In the 21st century we need a voice that will stand up for our rights and argue our points. Health Minister Hazel Blears hits the nail on the head quite nicely, describing hospital pharmacists as "unsung heroes and heroines for their work on medicines management" (PJ, 20 April, p522).

I am sure many thousands of patients have benefited from expert care from hospital pharmacists, but how many of them realise it? How long can hospital pharmacist heroes continue without appreciation?

Paul Williams
Pharmacy Undergraduate,
University of Nottingham


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