To mark the 75th birthday of National Health Service (NHS), pharmacy bodies have taken the opportunity to highlight and celebrate all the highly skilled staff who tirelessly worked to provide healthcare services.
Community Pharmacy England said: “As we celebrate and appreciate our pharmacy colleagues across the sector, we are working hard with everyone within the sector to build a stronger and more positive future for community pharmacy. The vision and strategy work by Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund is part of this, and we look forward to their proposals which they will be consulting about very soon.”
“The NHS birthday will not feel like a celebration for most pharmacy businesses, but we hope it can be a time for us all to consider how community pharmacy will be in the years ahead and to think about the ways we can overcome the many challenges our sector is facing.”
Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy England, said: “This NHS birthday we celebrate all our pharmacy colleagues and teams across the country working tirelessly to support communities with their health needs every day. As the NHS marks this milestone of 75 years, we trust that it will recognise the hard work, dedication, skills and key contribution of community pharmacy within it.
“Community pharmacies are an integral part of the NHS, with millions of people relying on their services every day. Our #NHSBirthdayWish is for pharmacies to be fully valued, supported and funded, and for the full potential of community pharmacy to be utilised within the NHS in years to come. We believe in an ambitious future for pharmacies and the communities they serve, but this will require a community pharmacy sector that is sustainably funded, and reduced pressures on all those who work in it.”
Professor Claire Anderson, President of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society said: “Our pharmacists and their teams are evolving as never before and I’m so proud of everything the profession has achieved over the past 75 years.
“The integration of pharmacy into the multidisciplinary team speaks volumes about the value placed on our expertise. Pharmacists continue to drive the safe and effective use of medicines, lead cutting-edge research programmes, design new proactive models of care and are frontline clinicians, providing essential information to colleagues and patients every day in hospitals, primary care, community and many other settings.”
“As public expectations shift, the reliance on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians for guidance on medicines, illness and lifestyle has substantially increased. With the growing complexity of medications our skills are now more recognised and sought after than ever before.
“While we have much to celebrate, we face many challenges in daily practice and an ever-growing workload that is often hard to cope with. However, I have enormous faith that our evolving profession has a bright future.
“Personalised medicines and genomics will soon become a reality. From 2026 all pharmacists will graduate as prescribers. I’d like to thank every pharmacist and team member for their contribution and I know they will continue to inspire, lead the way and play a vital role in patient care for years to come.”
While the Pharmacists Defence Association (PDA) members recognise there are many challenges facing the service, the association feels it is also important it take time to recognise the impact the NHS has upon the nation, and has done for three quarters of a century.
To celebrate this momentous day the PDA has shared some of the NHS’ key achievements over the last year which have benefited patients in the UK.
On the NHS’ last birthday, they announced the world’s first chemo drone delivery. This service was announced with the hopes of cutting delivery times from 4 hours to 30 minutes, especially considering some doses have a short shelf life. Cancer care will now be more convenient to patients living in places such as the Isle of Wight who no longer need to travel to the mainland for treatment. The use of chemo drone delivery also reduces carbon emissions, improves air quality and is helping the NHS become the first health system in the world to become carbon neutral.
The PDA represents pharmacists and the profession has been proud to be part of the NHS throughout its history. The association said, “a huge thank you for the amazing work of the NHS and all the other healthcare professionals who also go the extra mile to put the needs of patients first.”