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Better recognition of frontline pharmacists

We’ve fought every step of the way to ensure the amazing commitment you’ve shown on the frontline is fully recognised. Together, we’ve made some great strides forward for the profession.

At the beginning of the pandemic you told us you were being turned away from priority shopping hours at supermarkets. You were unsure if your children could still attend school and concerned about travelling between your home and workplace.

We talked to governments, supermarkets and the NHS  to make sure pharmacists were granted key worker status so these problems were swiftly resolved.

But key worker status means a whole lot more. Pharmacy teams have always been key workers. Official recognition of that represents a profound shift in perception of the profession. Recognition that’s come directly from Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Secretary of State Matt Hancock, devolved governments and many others, including our patients, friends and neighbours. The communities we serve. The profession is now rightly routinely mentioned in political briefings and thank you messages to NHS staff.

The media too have shone a spotlight on the challenges of overwhelming demand, obtaining PPE and many other issues you and your teams have battled through. Our spokespeople have taken every opportunity to highlight the work you’re doing in all areas of practice across England, Scotland and Wales.

But it’s not all been plain sailing. The initial omission of pharmacists from the death in service benefits scheme was a body blow for all of us. But our collective protests were heard loud and clear, leading to a quick turnaround. Whilst pharmacists are now included in the scheme, we continue to fight for the whole pharmacy team to be included in this benefit.

Overseas pre-reg students told us they were deeply worried about their visas running out when they hadn’t been able to take the delayed pre-reg exam. We worked with the GPhC to lobby the Home Office, and their visas have now been extended for another year.

We know there’s still lots more to do. And with your help, we can do it. We will continue to champion what you do at every turn to improve recognition of our profession.

Please tell us about any issues you would like us to raise via [email protected]

Find out what other issues affecting you we’ve been able to help with.

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