By Thorrun Govind, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society
The National Pharmacy Association recently modified its list of ‘core beliefs’ about the nature of community pharmacy today and its future. InPharmacy invited NPA members and pharmacy leaders from across the sector to give their perspective on this list.
First up is Thorrun Govind, the new chair of the English Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, on core belief #7: We are in the NHS family.
“COVID-19 has shown just how much community pharmacy teams are a part of our National Health Service. I saw first-hand how pharmacists have been on the frontline of the pandemic to provide a lifeline for people during a national crisis. I am so proud to be a pharmacist.
“When the pandemic first struck, and amid fears the NHS might be overwhelmed, we kept our doors open to provide patient care, advice and access to vital medicines. Sometimes we’ve had to fight to get the recognition we deserve, but now more than ever, it’s clear that community pharmacy is at its best when working as part of the NHS family.
“With planned reforms to NHS structures in the coming year, collaboration is going to be a key part of making future changes a success - whether it’s working across care settings as part of a multi-disciplinary team, or a joined-up approach to helping patients get the most of their medicines.
“Increasing demand on the NHS, including people living with long-term conditions, means that the Government must ensure pharmacists play a key role in supporting the NHS restoration and recovery. New services like the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service and Discharge Medicines Service are a welcome step in the right direction, but this must also go hand-in-hand with funding and implementation support to help new services reach their potential.
“I know that pharmacy teams are under pressure, which is why we campaigned for all pharmacists and staff delivering NHS services to have access to national wellbeing hubs.
“Community pharmacy teams are an integral part of the NHS and must have a voice when looking ahead to the health service for the future. We’ve seen some welcome progress, but I also know there is more to do.”
NPA Core Beliefs (revised July 2021)
- Community pharmacy works
- Community pharmacy can do so much more (given sustained support and investment)
- A pharmacy is more than ‘a shop’
- Face to face care is vitally important
- A pharmacy without a pharmacist is not really a pharmacy at all
- Pharmacists are clinicians and our future is clinical
- We are in the NHS family
- Community pharmacy is about people, not just pills
- Community pharmacy is the best first port of call for health care in the vast majority of circumstances
- Medicines supply and service belong together
- Change is inevitable and necessary – we are on a journey