the survey provided a snapshot of the diversity and often unseen work that is done by the profession. the unique mix of clinical expertise and accessibility is our strength and I welcome this survey by CPnI. We need evidence to show how diverse our job is and how we add benefit to every transaction within our pharmacies.

‘We must now move forward with a contract that builds on our existing services but also one which is flexible to allow local patient needs to be met. the new contract will hopefully include a suite of solutions that can be accessed province wide or indeed more locally.

Lynda Magee (WaterWipes) with Lorna Brady (Bessbrook Pharmacy)


‘to all of our finalists, I offer you my congratulations. to our winners, who will be announced shortly, I can give you onE piece of advice… milk it for all its worth! this is a good news story for you in your local community. Use the press, your windows, your premises and your staff to let everyone know about your success. As I mentioned earlier, my pharmacy won its award ten years ago. the CHEMI is still on display and my customers, old and new, still comment on it.’

Cliff not only welcomed guests to the 2017 event, but also used the event as an opportunity to once again reinforce the vital role that community pharmacy can play in nI healthcare.

‘Community Pharmacy northern Ireland (CPnI) recently undertook a

piece of research to highlight the unseen work of the community pharmacist,’ he said. ‘this work is vital as we seek to show the department and our patients that we are more than a supply service. from that survey, results were extrapolated showing that over fifteen million interventions per year took place in the community pharmacy network. that’s almost 100 interventions per day per pharmacy in northern Ireland.

‘the vast majority of these interventions were clinical, with prescription supply and health interventions also prominent. that will not come as news to the community pharmacists in the audience tonight, we know what we do. It should, however, make others sit up and take note of how well community pharmacy delivers its contracted service in northern Ireland.

‘I am specifically thinking of Mid and East Antrim Agewell Partnership (MEEAP) and the PACt projects which have always had the full support of the UCA. they can only be successful if the contract provides solutions to the needs identified. A flexible central pharmacy contract that allows us to fully engage and meet the needs of our local populations is essential. Community pharmacy is ready to become involved in the brave new world that will be created by the Department’s health and wellbeing strategy.

‘I am delighted to welcome representatives from two local political parties. We are delighted to have you with us as we showcase all that is great about community pharmacy. I would call on All political parties in northern Ireland to give their support to the Department’s strategy. I understand that the political arena is uncertain right now. Pressures on the health service, however, do not wait. gP surgeries continue to overflow and casualty departments continue to be overwhelmed. Community pharmacy

is not the complete answer, but we are an important part of the solution.

‘let’s have agreement from all the political parties to take this strategy forward and improve health outcomes in northern Ireland. With this commitment, you can be assured that community pharmacy will be there to engage and push forward new ways of working, new solutions. this will, of course, require swift agreement and implementation of a fair and just pharmacy contract.

‘the UCA welcomes the news from the then Health Minister Michelle o’neill that allowed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Community Pharmacy northern Ireland and the Department of Health. Ms o’neill’s statement that highlighted the negotiations of a new contract also said that she hoped it would ‘allow the development of a new framework to fully realise the potential of community pharmacy services to support better health outcomes from medicines and prevent illness.’ We hope that this will be honoured.’

As always, there were some great prizes available during the evening. Charles Hurst Jaguar landrover ran a competition where one lucky person won a weekend test drive in a Jaguar f-PACE or a Range Rover Sport.

this year, the Pharmacy in focus Awards again raised much-needed funds for the UCA’s charity partner (2015-2017), AgenI. Among the great prizes up for grabs were two tickets for a nathan Carter show at the SSE Arena and dinner for two in Deane's Deli with a £50 voucher for the lyric theatre. Since 2015 the Pharmacy in focus Awards have raised over £10,000 for Age nI. •

Medicon Ireland, sponsors of guest hosts, Stephen Clements, Q Radio and local celebrity Zoe Salmon


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