I've experienced a curious sense of déjà vu as I've been overseeing this issue of The Pharmacist. During this and our previous two issues, the headlines were dominated by the pharmacy funding cuts, and for good reason. For English contractors, losing such a large chunk of their income has been difficult, to say the least.
One contractor I spoke to for this issue told me how difficult it has become to keep staffing at its current levels- an issue echoed in one of our cover features earlier this year, when exclusive figures uncovered by The Pharmacist revealed that up to 12,000 pharmacy team jobs could be at risk because of the cuts. So it's a little wonder that the sector refuses to stop railing against them, with both the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) and the National Pharmacy Association (NPA) lodging appeals against unsuccessful court cases this summer.
The latest fight in this battle got me thinking about what a lot has happened to the sector in recent memory. To be quite truthful, I've found it difficult to keep abreast of the political and legal changes in community pharmacy over the past few months, even though it's my job to know them. The old adage says you've got to understand where you've come from before you can get where you're going.
Unfortunately, it's impossible to predict whether the NPA or PSNC appeals will be successful. But for me, the best thing community pharmacy can do to prove its worth to the Government- and therefore why cutting its funding is foolish- is to showcase all the wonderful work you do day, in day out. So it gives me great pleasure to introduce the first of The Pharmacist's Clinical Champions- ordinary pharmacists just like you, doing extraordinary work in their communities. This month, we find out how this issue's Champion started his own travel clinical to serve his patients and- just as importantly- bolster his bottom line.