A Christmas tale. Part I

It had been a good day as Pharmacist Scrooge tucked himself up in bed and sleep came easily.

A ghost appeared and said “I am the ghost of pharmacy past” and he took pharmacist Scrooge by the hand. “Here you are two years ago as Head of Medicines Management”
Pharmacist Scrooge looked at his image as a Consultant asked: Please Pharmacist Scrooge can I use this new medicine – it may help some of my patients”

No said Pharmacist Scrooge “it’s just unaffordable” “There is no pay back within year” and “there is just no data in the over 80’s”. The consultant dropped to one knee and said “please Pharmacist Scrooge, I just need some options to offer my patients”.”Options, options, you have the cheap generic, what more do you need, do you think I am swimming in cash”

At that point a community pharmacist drove past in his nice new car. “Hmmmph – community pharmacists – only focus on dispensing and won’t all deliver the services that I wanted to commission”, “don’t think that they will get anything more from me”. The cheek of it, last week one talked about getting some guaranteed clinical service payments to allow him to reshape his staffing to allow a clinical specialist to be available for at least 6 hours a day”, “ridiculous – just take the risk – does it matter if your business goes belly up – always will be able to get a job on my team”

A GP walked in and he watched himself eye the GP carefully. “Hope you haven’t been prescribing any hypnotics this week – you know that they are dangerous!”. “No coco and warm baths this week and I have a new sign, it says if you have insomnia don’t come in here as I can’t give you anything for it – the PCT doesn’t believe insomnia exists”.

“I hear that you might be considering appointing a pharmacist to your practice team?.
“Well yes – an independent prescriber and one that will do our risk stratification for us”
“There my staff – why don’t you employ a nurse – they are cheaper”
“But are they as good”
“No, but they are cheaper and I don’t really want you taking one of my team away”.

At that point Pharmacist Scrooge shut his ledger and turned of the ePACT and left the room, meeting Bob, the chief pharmacist from the local hospital on the way out.
“Hi Bob, what are you after now?”
“Well I just wanted to talk to you about two areas that I just need your support on”.
“Hmmph, I hope your not expecting me to fund anything – I have budget targets to hit. I expect that you hit yours from all that purchasing profit that you forget in the recharging”
“That’s a little unfair, I have been asking about 50:50 sharing if we go to all the trouble of procurement – it is not as easy as you think”
“No nothing ever is – I caught a doctor from your trust asking a GP to prescribe a drug that was not on the formulary – disgraceful – cant you keep them in check?”
“Anyway, I want to get proper medicines reconciliation of the ground and then do something linking up discharge to the NMS service”.
“Bah humbug”Pharmacist Scrooge found himself back in his bed, happy and drifting into a deep sleep.


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