The UCA Ball is celebrating the 12th annual Pharmacy in Focus Awards and I know you will join us in wishing all the finalists well as we wait with anticipation for the winners to be announced.

Thank you to everyone who entered the awards and to all pharmacists and staff who have been working tremendously hard over the past year to continue delivering excellent health care to their communities. Plus, a huge thank you to the judging panel – we really couldn’t do it without you.

UCA is also introducing its 2019 Charity Partner – Macmillan Cancer Support. A prize draw will be held on the evening to raise much needed funds to support Macmillan Nurses in your community. UCA is looking forward to working with Macmillan Cancer Support not only to raise funds, but also to raise awareness of the help and support available to people suffering with cancer and their families and carers.

It is no understatement to say that it has been an extremely challenging year for community pharmacy. Last year, UCA President Cliff McElhinney’s predictions of an increasingly difficult financial and workforce climate were unfortunately accurate. However, contractors and their staff have continued to fight hard to maintain good

services to ensure that the minimum impact is felt by their patients.

UCA and CPNI have also been working hard to bring about the merger announced at last year’s event. The UCA/CPNI merger means that UCA will now become UCA (NI) Ltd essentially doing what UCA has always done providing support and services to the community pharmacy network. The merger will also see UCA Executive members taking seats on the CPNI board. The next three years will be a critical transition period.

During that time we all need to ensure that the ethos of both organisations can be articulated into one voice with the objective of supporting the development and sustainability of community pharmacy as a key element of an integrated primary care service to the population in N. Ireland.

UCA has been working closely with Profile for 14 years and together we have developed an excellent publication in Pharmacy in Focus as well as Pharmacy in Focus Awards.

UCA would like to take this opportunity to thank Maureen Delaney and Jason Andrews, Directors of Profile and their staff for the hard work and professionalism throughout our working relationship and we

look forward to continuing and developing that relationship further.

Thank you to all the contributors who have made this event possible: EMIS Health, Numark, KISS Products, Alliance Healthcare, McLernon Computers, Teva UK, AAH Pharmaceuticals, and Connect Total, Fujifilm, National Pharmacy Association, Lexon and Bestway Medhub. Thank you also to all our wholesalers and suppliers who have supported community pharmacy throughout the year.



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