Monthly Archives: May 2014

Never gonna give you up

The end of the football season leads to that curious ritual, the publication of the retained list. Basically, each player who has a contract expiring is either offered a new one, or he isn’t.

It seems strange that a club could pay millions for a player and then watch him walk away, but those are the rules.

It’s what my wife would call “de-cluttering”.

De-cluttering is no bad thing in any walk of life (says one of the UK’s leading hoarders, but I agree with the principle).

  • So how should pharmacy de-clutter?
  • What are we doing now that we shouldn’t be doing?
  • What data are we storing that actually don’t get looked at or acted upon?

It’s undoubtedly the case that we can’t go on doing more and more, because time is not elastic. Well, it is according to Einstein, but not at the speeds most of us walk around at.

So what has to go?

If pharmacy has a fault, it is perhaps that we don’t decommission. We don’t stop doing things. We don’t clear the dead wood away often enough.

At the Pharmacy Management National Forum on 18th November we’ll hear plenty to enthuse and excite us – but what are we going to do now to make room for the new?

Do you know where you’re going to?

I watched this year’s Boat Race … and it struck me once again that a rowing eight is a good metaphor for the NHS.

The ones who are doing all the work don’t know where they’re going and the one who knows where they’re going isn’t doing any of the work. He does, however, make an awful lot of noise.

You didn’t need to be a great oarsman to spot that a clash of oars was likely, and when it happened it was pretty clear to this landlubber which crew wasn’t holding its line, so not only was the little yappy one the only person who knew where his crew was going, he hadn’t managed to head them in the right direction.

Of course, that didn’t stop him blaming someone else when speaking to the umpire at the end.

Where should we be steering medicines in the NHS towards?

We can talk in general terms about the direction of travel, but sometimes you need to see examples because they give you some waypoints to follow on your own journey.

They might lead to better medicines reconciliation, smarter patient discharge, more effective patient support or cleverer prescribing, for example, but it’s good to learn from the experiences of others.

There’ll be lots of those examples at the Pharmacy Management National Forum (London, 18th November 2014).

Come along and see where others are going – you may want to follow.

Are we there yet?

Two years ago, at the first Pharmacy Management National Forum, we set out on a journey.

That change from medicines management to medicines optimisation was just starting, but we heard Dr Keith Ridge tell us where we were heading.

Last year Clare Howard and Richard Seal looked at the progress we were making, and applauded our efforts so far, but acknowledged we were still on that journey.

So to the Third National Forum where we have an important question to pose…

Come along to the Novotel on 18th November and help us answer it.

Tweet Dreams are made of this…

It’s competition time!

You can win Marks and Spencer vouchers to be presented by NHS England’s Deputy Chief Pharmacist Clare Howard at the Pharmacy Management National Forum on 18th November.

First prize is £50, and there are two runner-up prizes of £25 each. And all you have to do is…

Answer the question “What does Medicines Optimisation mean to me?

Of course, there’s a catch.

·         You’ve got to get your answer inside 126 characters so it can be shared on Twitter using the hashtag #pharmanforum.

·         Now there’s a challenge… can you make your answer short and to the point?

Since it’s a competition there are a few terms and conditions we have to share.

  1. You have to be 18 or older to enter.
  2. Employees of Pharmacy Management cannot enter.
  3. You can enter as many times as you like until midnight BST on 31st July.
  4. Each entry must be submitted through Twitter using the hashtag #pharmanforum.
  5. The judges’ decision is final.
  6.  There is no cash alternative prize.
  7. The winners’ entries and their names will be announced on the National Forum website at

So – get tweeting!

And invite your colleagues to do the same.