Ash Soni, president of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said the NHS’s 70th anniversary marks the ideal time to celebrate how pharmacists and pharmacy teams contribute to the health service.
“As science, technology and research have rapidly advanced, so has the role of the pharmacist,” he added. “Research has evolved, and diseases and conditions have become more complex.
“Pharmacists are more highly educated than ever before, and an increasing number of us now prescribe medicines. Our services are becoming ever more integrated across the NHS … the true value of our expertise is being recognised as never before.”
Soni said that the sector could look forward to “a lot of exciting changes” in the coming years.
“There will be personalised medicines and genomics in the not-too-distant future. Routine, individual point-of-care testing will be rolled out to ensure these medicines work effectively,” he said.
“These kinds of services and others yet to come can be provided within the pharmacy setting, enabling other NHS services to develop to their potential, too. Our constantly evolving profession will be at the forefront of any service providing medicines, and pharmacists will finally receive the recognition they deserve as everyday heroes within the NHS.”
Events to celebrate the 70th anniversary have been occurring across the UK. Raj Aggarwal, community pharmacist and honorary Welsh consul to India, attended a service at Llandaff Cathedral in Wales on 4 July 2018, which was also attended by Prince Charles; Carwyn Jones, first minister of Wales; and Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales. On the same day, a selected group of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians attended a celebratory evening at 10 Downing Street, in the presence of prime minister Theresa May.