On Friday 17 January guests on ITV’s This Morning commented on the role of pharmacists sparked by the consultation by NICE on how community pharmacists can promote health and wellbeing.
To date the comments have led to over 2,300 complaints to Ofcom.
Sandra Gidley, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said:
“The comments made on ITV’s This Morning about the role of community pharmacists promoting people’s health were extremely disappointing and concerning. Pharmacists have a huge amount to offer the NHS and we work extensively across the NHS.
“Pharmacists, including myself, were infuriated by the comments made denigrating a profession which on a daily basis saves people’s lives. Given that many describe the NHS as being at breaking point, particularly with growing A&E waiting times and staffing shortages, we should be recognising and promoting the vital role pharmacists play in providing healthcare and supporting patients. We ourselves have taken action.
“We’ve been in touch with ITV who have now apologised, stating ‘contributors often express their personal or light-hearted views, which do not always reflect the views of This Morning. Referring to this specific topic we apologise if there was any offence caused.' We are pursuing opportunities with them to profile the profession on This Morning. We have contacted one of the journalists and offered him a visit to a pharmacy to see at first-hand what hard-working pharmacists do on a daily basis. We have also contacted the radio presenter who took part to discuss opportunities to inform her listeners about the services pharmacists provide.
“We actively promote the profession in the media and government, as well as supporting pharmacists in their education and development. We put pharmacy at the forefront of healthcare and our #wearepharmacy campaign is celebrating the diverse roles that pharmacists take on every single day. Pharmacists save lives, protect the health of the population and advise other health professionals and our profession should be recognised for this.”
On 23 January ITV devoted a whole section of This Morning to visiting a pharmacy. Presenter Alice Beer toured the Birmingham store of pharmacist Amit Sahdev, discussing the services and expertise that he and his team provide, the value a local pharmacy adds to the community, as well as the ways pharmacists can work hand-in-hand with GPs to provide the best possible care.
Watch the feature here:
Help us to defend the profession - renew your membership today