MUSINGS of Community Pharmacy - A Three Parter


In the decade+ that I’ve been qualified as a Pharmacist, I’ve witnessed more change and restructure in Pharmacy than the many decades before it, but I have also seen one common trait.

We all talk and form more groups as we loose faith in ones that supposedly represent us. So many bodies to represent the sectors and each voice??? I don’t honestly know myself who represents ME let alone WE?!

Always talking about what Pharmacy does and the greatness we bestow upon ourselves but to whom…too our peers not to the end user. Like a big woop us, we are so awesome yet the end user ie Joe Public is non the wiser or quite frankly doesn’t give a ….

Not in a united front with one thing and goal in mind…

Raise Pharmacy’s Profile in the Public Eye… Hence the Government

That Is why I have taken to Social Media seemingly “out of the blue” for some and having shied away from it for years. I honestly have seen it as a time zap that endlessly loops for short term dopamine hits, which will rob you of your most priceless of posessions…our time. But I wanted to engage with my peers, but not just in pharmacy but in all the realms I “play” in from property to start ups and all that’s in-between seeking to gain and give more value and insights for we can learn alot from one another especially when looking outside to other industries etc.

So whilst in Pharmacy we keep giving ourselves a pat on the back for what benefit we give to the public etc…

when push comes to shove, we especially that in the community get our sharpened blades ready to stab our peers in the back…like a pack of dogs fighting over what scraps that our thrown in our direction. Scraps that are diminishing by the year.

Contractor vs employees, multiples vs independents, locums vs contractor, manufacturer vs wholesaler, elections candidates vs each other stooping to playground antics etc etc etc the list goes on…

What has this all done, created a culture where its US vs THEM.

Divisions, instead of ONE voice. what we have are different voices representing each faction opinions…too busy squabbling amongst ourselves leading to easy picking for a dominant hunter that is the government to pick us off one by one under its shiny large shield that is the NHS.

For we all know the NHS is burdened at what’s easier to cut back on. A profession that lets face it, most of the general public don’t even know what we actually do let alone what benefits we are capable of and how we indeed help them.

Why is it in all my years the one closest moment where I saw Pharmacy finally TRY and unite and stand together was the threat of large funding cuts but why is it that even.. then how many actually stood strong and together?

Why was it that certain not to be mentioned hardly bothered to join the fight? Are they too busy trying to be the next “John Lewis” and bow down to their shareholders. Shareholders that lay claim to another country entirely and have never seen the “benefits” that UK pharmacy provide. I ask you is it the “Americanisation/Capitalism” of pharmacy that has lead to what many perceive as the dog eat dog toxic culture or pharmacy where the multiples are now lead by foreign interest to hit Profit at any cost.

Even if it’s short-sighted to their supposed mission statement…is it truly their mission statement or simply a bit of text used to mask their true intention. Where you are easily thrown under the bus as there is a ever long supply of eager replacements wait in line. Where they preach one thing yet act another. The minute you speak up …down will come a judgement hammer so hard that you become akin to a powerless worker ant. Working hard and saving away, so that the minute you hear your peers complain you don’t see them for what they are. But just becomes a target to be like well its just the way it is. And continue to stay quite or complain and whinge, and the minute you see someone trying to move out of the disparity instead of taking head and thinking I need to raise my game. Increase my standards …no you want to lower them a few pegs lower their standard to yours or beneath you.

That in my opinion is where the battle is not with the government or the NHS but within ourselves and our own head.

Every battle must be fought in your own brain and your own head for you to be out of yourself and finally not think of the picture of me but us. We as a profession owe it too ourselves and each other to rise up and raise our own standards.

Believe in ourselves and each other. It’s always easier to be the victim and blame “them”.

“It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone’s fault. If it was us, what did that make Me? After all, I’m one of Us. I must be. I’ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No one ever thinks of themselves as one of Them. We’re always one of Us. It’s Them that do the bad things.”

 Terry Pratchett


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