Heading into 2022 with renewed vigour

Heading into 2022 with renewed vigour

As we enter into the new year, thoughts turn to how community pharmacy has grown from the experiences and learnings of operating through a pandemic.

The UK’s extensive network of community pharmacies may not have been mobilised to its full potential to help deliver the biggest mass vaccination programme in history, but collective resilience is paving the way for a brighter future for healthcare in our local communities post-pandemic.

As we continue to live under a ‘new normal’, it’s time to regroup and revisit the service agenda as patients turn to their local pharmacy for health advice. Pharmacy teams will play a pivotal role in patient health as we embark on 2022; this new year will no doubt spark new opportunities for community pharmacy.

Positioning local pharmacies as central hubs for everyday healthcare support, services and professional advice, not just prescriptions, is pivotal in meeting the changing pressures and demands that pharmacies and indeed the NHS are facing.

With the introduction of a further two advanced services as part of the contract, namely the Hypertension Case Finding Service and Stop Smoking Advanced Service, it will become increasingly important that pharmacies find efficiencies to focus on services that drive additional funding opportunities.

Digital innovations can be a critical enabler to help free up more time to focus on patient care and service provision. Community pharmacy has the ability to offer face-to-face care – never has building a ‘blend’ of human and digital connection points with customers been so important. 

Not only do the introduction of such services provide increased opportunities for remuneration, but they also support the flow of patients back into pharmacy. As the market evolves, pharmacy teams need to be innovative in their service propositions or risk getting left behind – that is why Numark has acquired and continues to develop its Hey Pharmacist app and has introduced its new Golden Tote proposition, to keep its members ahead of the game.

2022 will no doubt be another challenging year for pharmacy. The ongoing fight to get pharmacy recognised as a service provider to the NHS and to secure the adequate funding to support the changing pharmacy model, will continue to be a priority.

As always, Numark are committed to championing independent community pharmacy and whilst we recognise the challenges ahead, we also recognise opportunity. We will continue to support members to embrace digital innovation and enhance operational infrastructure to improve the way services, medicines and prescriptions are delivered, improving patient health and benefiting from the result.