2014: A milestone year for community pharmacy and Pharmacy Voice

Over the last 12 months Pharmacy Voice has made significant progress in raising the profile of pharmacy’s role in the primary care sector, highlighting the importance of community pharmacy in addressing public health issues and demonstrating continued leadership in improving patient safety.
In its Annual Review published today, Pharmacy Voice outlines its achievements during 2014 including:

Pharmacy Voice’s first public facing campaign, Dispensing Health which received widespread coverage in national media, creating over 14.5 million opportunities to be seen. The campaign, which will continue into 2015 contributed to a significant rise in public awareness of pharmacy services – an 18 per cent rise between October 2013 and June 2014.

The We Are Primary Care report. A cross-sector initiative with support from NHS Alliance, the Optical Confederation and the National Community Hearing Association which has led to successful political engagement through conference season and beyond.

The work of National IT lead John Palmer and the Pharmacy Voice IT working group, focusing heavily on EPS functionality. So far we have resolved 12 EPS issues with many more still being addressed.

Working with NHS England who actively sought support from Pharmacy Voice for its first direct to pharmacy campaign, “the earlier, the better” aimed at encouraging the elderly to seek advice from community pharmacy for symptoms of winter ailments.

Rob Darracott, chief executive of Pharmacy Voice, said:

“Our member associations created Pharmacy Voice in 2010 to jointly represent their members’ ambitions in achieving a sustainable and developing community pharmacy sector. They deliberately chose the name to signify their collective intention to speak up for the community pharmacy sector, and I’m pleased to say in 2014 we did just that. Pharmacy’s stock is rising, whether it’s as part of the answer to the A&E crisis, as partners in the management of long term conditions, or in recognition of the evidence that the community pharmacy network has a role to play in helping people keep well.

“In 2015, we intend to keep on speaking up. Whether that’s about how community pharmacy can engage with the emerging models of care envisaged in NHS England’s Five Year Forward View, or providing solutions to some of the practical issues facing community pharmacy owners that can get in the way of patient care, such as red tape, or IT that doesn’t work as it could. 2015 is also a year when we must champion the successes of the sector by highlighting examples of where pharmacy is protecting patients from harm and exploring new ways to improve outcomes for patients with long term conditions.”