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  • Strike

    I have just paid my fees and my responsible pharmacist reply is due in. Anyways, I have joined the PDA union where union action has been mentioned. Can we discuss the implications of a pharmacist strike please, in response to our loss of responsibility and remote supervision. I understand that a strike will be pretty bad in the public eye. Pretty bad also amongst fellow health professionals. Pretty good for wouldbe dispensing doctors. However I feel that this would only be appealing to locums. Employee pharmacists havent really got that much to lose as they are already being abused in a manner akin to 'Gollum' from Lord of the Rings. Locums (25% of community workforce, Hassell 2004) have everything to lose by not striking. I often ponder as to how much power lies with the pharmacist. Morbidity and mortality will increase as no-one can intervene on the Doctors mistake in the GENERAL way that the pharmacist can. However dispensing doctors miss out on intervention and accuracy check, which may suggest that patient safety doesn't actually matter, as long as deaths/mishaps are not reported (who cares when a 90 yr old dies in a nursing home) and the meek patients carry on with their apathetic attitude to health.

  • #2
    Re: Strike

    The frustrations working within community pharmacy are immense so I can well understand the desire to go on strike.

    Am not sure what it would achieve though. The public do not give a damm as long as they get what they want ie speedy prescriptions with no waiting at all. You are correct when you suspect that we would get very short thrift if we did go on all out strike. Look what HM Govt, aka Thatcher did to the miners

    Don't worry about that eventuality as the degree of unity required within pharmacy to make a strike work does NOT exist and,sadly, probably never will.

    I also suspect that any attempt to strke would rapidly lead to the demise of that endangered species - The Pharmacist.

    If you think not it is already here..!! Remote supervision, technicians etc

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Strike

      I must point out that a strike would not be for the benefit of employees, but for the preservation of self employment (locuming). Many are speculating that locuming will die a death with supervision changes. I know of several locums (myself included) who will not continue to work as a pharmacist if I don't get tax breaks and expenses, but principally if one must use work within the bureaucracy of a nonsensical manager/area manager/shareholder etc. The day a store manager takes me aside to pontificate about MUR targets is the day that I will be arrested for GBH, which would be a shame. I wonder if community pharmacists themselves know their role in public health care. We have no role per se, however if we aren't there, patients will die and be hospitalised. FACT. It feels that as a whole, pharmacist are scared to raise this issue in case the government agree that pharmacists are unneccessary. But consequently, I feel that we need to force the government to make that decision and state what our role is. If they don't want us, say so. The government see this reluctance within our profession and play on that massively. A recent Doh leak (C + D Dec 22) congratulated the success of £300,000 recovered from generics profits 'without much of a fight'. Fight as in strike. So lets strike.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Strike

        <<It feels that as a whole, pharmacist are scared to raise this issue in case the government agree that pharmacists are unneccessary. But consequently, I feel that we need to force the government to make that decision and state what our role is. If they don't want us, say so. The government see this reluctance within our profession and play on that massively. A recent Doh leak (C + D Dec 22) congratulated the success of £300,000 recovered from generics profits 'without much of a fight'. Fight as in strike. So lets strike.>>

        You are spot on as far as govt attitudes are concerned. That applies to ALL sections of pharmacy, not just locums. We simply do not have the power or the unity to force the govt's hand in this way. More's the pity.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Strike

          Well I think that we do have the power. There are no other health professionals in the position to ensure patients safety, ie the 'screening' of prescriptions and the preparation of prescriptions. Drs - ain't enough of them to prescribe and screen as two seperate functions. Nurses only have BNF level understanding of drugs within their particular specialist area and at baseline are not required to possess mathematical skills for accurate dosage calculations. Who else could claim to be a drugs expert? Locums (25% of community pharm) are in a fight or flight position. My personal belief is that this is a most important time to get the agenda straight. A general election will be upon us soon, which will inevitably bring in conservatives. A rebellion by pharmacists could make pharmacists look bad, however it would be easy to pass the blame on to the government as everyone hates the NHS. It may even give us the media opportunity to inform the public what skills we have, why we are the ONLY people who should dispense tablets and why they should visit us all the time. Locuming is so important because it funds the mercenary (myself included) who puts a high price on the use of their high quality skills. Even the intellectuals on the society don't realise that pharmacy is now completely unattractive to the (under)informed UCAS college students who would be ABSOLUTELY INSANE not to use a set of high quality A levels to study dentistry/medicine. Pharmacy could be renamed medicine foundation. For the drug design/analysis skills we collect, we need to attract the highest standard in brains. This is best done with cash, freedom, demand and flexibility. All of which are about to be robbed. STRIKE!!!!!!!!
          Last edited by u2bawooly; 23, December 2007, 11:37 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Strike

            Not too sure about change of govnmt. Pork barrel politics is rife and hence subsidies to Scotland and 'bribing' of their populations with govnmt jobs, free scripts, elderly care, universities etc.

            Influx of socialist voting immigrants. Remember they can all vote in our elections, we cannot vote in theirs. eg ireland.

            we may reach the point that without Scotland leaving the UK it will be impossible to remove a labour govnmt.
            johnep

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Strike

              Originally posted by johnep View Post
              Influx of socialist voting immigrants. Remember they can all vote in our elections, we cannot vote in theirs. eg ireland.
              johnep
              You are incorrect about this, In Eire or (ROI) British Citizens can vote in Irish general and European elections. British Citizans cannot vote In Irish Referendums e.g. upcoming one the Lisbon treaty as British Citizens are subjects of the Queen and are not part of the Irish Republic.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Strike

                Originally posted by johnep View Post
                Influx of socialist voting immigrants. Remember they can all vote in our elections, we cannot vote in theirs. eg ireland.
                johnep
                I see you are fond of using factually incorrect sweeping generalisations on this forum also.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Strike

                  Originally posted by u2bawooly View Post
                  Locums (25% of community pharm) are in a fight or flight position.
                  Could I suggest flight - to a more cognitive role

                  STRIKE!!!!!!!!
                  Locums - being self employed can't actually strike - we have no employer. We can only choose not to work, or be particular about who we work for.

                  Being particular has forced those we (I) do not wish to work for to look for an alternative supply of pharmacists.

                  Employee pharmacists could strike - but to do so legally would probably require union backing and votes.

                  A work to rule - essential services only - no to MURs, needle exchange, supervision of methadone, is more likely to be accepted by both employee pharmacists and the majority of patients.

                  Jeff

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Strike

                    <<A work to rule - essential services only - no to MURs, needle exchange, supervision of methadone, is more likely to be accepted by both employee pharmacists and the majority of patients.>>

                    I could go along with this.

                    But it still comes back to one of my original points which is unity within the profession, or should I say the lack of it. Pharmacy is so disjointed it is disheartening. Just look at council elections for proof of general apathy.

                    Working in what is now an ex-mining area terms like "scabs" is still an emotive subject 22 years after the last strike. Whoever thought we would be talking about pharmacy doing likewise. My heart says yes but my brain says no.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Strike

                      The political claims are not the crux of my point and unimportant. In comparison to mining, miners can always be replaced by somebody cheaper, or moved to a cheaper country. But not pharmacists, necessarily. An attempt could be made but nobody has the same baseline level of skill that we have as pointed out earlier. The system would collapse as no-one would be readily available with any answers. If all locums take a day off on the same day, 25% of pharmacies will not function. This will prompt thousands of disgruntled patients to enquire as to what is going on. Which in turn will bring news teams, which in turn will be discussed on Matthew Wright, which in turn will be discussed on Question Time, then by opposition parties, then in Parliament. The reason we strike is the possibility of supervision damaging our prospects of locuming and self employment. I would rather be trapped in a lift with Kerry Catona than work beneath the authority of an area muppet and lose my flexibility and tax savings.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Strike

                        Originally posted by u2bawooly View Post
                        The political claims are not the crux of my point and unimportant. In comparison to mining, miners can always be replaced by somebody cheaper, or moved to a cheaper country. But not pharmacists, necessarily. An attempt could be made but nobody has the same baseline level of skill that we have as pointed out earlier. The system would collapse as no-one would be readily available with any answers. If all locums take a day off on the same day, 25% of pharmacies will not function. This will prompt thousands of disgruntled patients to enquire as to what is going on. Which in turn will bring news teams, which in turn will be discussed on Matthew Wright, which in turn will be discussed on Question Time, then by opposition parties, then in Parliament. The reason we strike is the possibility of supervision damaging our prospects of locuming and self employment. I would rather be trapped in a lift with Kerry Catona than work beneath the authority of an area muppet and lose my flexibility and tax savings.
                        Pharmacists can move offshore.
                        You just need to extend remote supervision a little bit further.
                        You could say that the pharmacists won't be registered here.
                        What's to stop the regulator (GPhC) from deciding that it can have 'emergency powers'.
                        47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
                        2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
                        How times change.

                        If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Strike

                          <<What's to stop the regulator (GPhC) from deciding that it can have 'emergency powers'.>>

                          A very good point indeed.

                          There is a saying which I feel is appropriate here - "nobody is indespensible." That applies as much to pharmacists as it did to the miners. They too thought they were indispensible and look what happened to them.

                          While I am not suggesting that HM Govt would close down the NHS who could say what they might do oir not do if provoked bt the temerity of a pharmacy strike. A half-hearted strike by what could only be a (small .? ) proprortion of pharmacists is hardly going to strike fear into the heart of Whitehall, now is it.?

                          Whilst on the subject of locums they are going to find themselves more and more coming under the control of the larger multiples, as the number of independant pharmacies becomes smaller and smaller. I am not saying that is necessarily a good thing but simply a fact of life.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Strike

                            Remote supervision from India will be next thing the multiples will press for.
                            johnep

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Strike

                              <<Remote supervision from India will be next thing the multiples will press for.
                              johnep>>

                              By the time most p[harmacists realise the need to work together v's HM Govt/multiple pharmacy chains it will be too late to do anything about such matters as remote supervision, dispensing/checking techicians etc

                              Comment

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