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Archive for the ‘NHS’ Category

NHS Bill – A Healthy Prescription?: PRimage comment

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

As PRimage see it there are pros and cons for this radical overhaul of the NHS. It’s a huge risk – and yes, of course it will bring massive organisational upheaval – but we should remember that the Govt needs to find 4% NHS efficiency savings a year for 4 years to keep up with rising demand!

The new policies will mean ministers essentially giving up day to day management of the service – opting instead to set annual priorities and measures of improved health outcomes for a national commissioning board. This board will performance-manage consortia of GPs to whom it will have to hand well over half the English NMS’s £100bn budget, with which to commission care locally. The worry is that this commissioning board will simply be a substitute DoH – but without a public health remit.

PRimage MD, Judy Viitanen, is a former District Councillor – and strong supporter of localism – so she’sencouraged by the policy to transfer much of public health to local authorities, who in turn will get strengthened scrutiny powers over GPs’ plans. And as a healthcare communicator and lobbyist, she is hoping that increased NHS investment in clinical care, and a focus on proactively improving health outcomes will help the treatment of cancer and other serious conditions – and ultimately bring swifter and better care closer to patients.

Ask Your Pharmacist! says PRimage

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

With client’s in the community pharmacy sector, Judy Viitanen was pleased to see this great feature profile on the valuable role that pharmacist’s play in keeping the nation healthy!

Good feature profile on the role and value of community pharmacists: http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-living/wellbeing/role-of-pharmacists.htm

“12 months to save the NHS” – PRimage comment

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Public services reforms is the headline media story today – as David Cameron defends NHS reform plans, saying: ‘doing nothing will end in tears’ – http://bit.ly/e6T5VU
The key is for Education Secretary Michael Gove and Health Secretary Andrew Lansley to win over their sternest critics and also win the hearts and minds of the public that these radical changes are what’s needed – and will get results. Everyone in this country faces difficult times ahead – and it’s crucial that that the Government  gets these issues right! …

The Government’s new health policies are aimed at improving NHS performance, reducing bureaucracy and improving the outcomes of treatment for patients. As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, PRimage totally agree with this – but Judy Viitanen shares some of the concerns voiced by healthcare professionals that the radical shakeup of the NHS could lead to a two-tier health service.

This country certainly needs to tackle its health and social inequalities – and in our opinion the Dept of Health must start to focus on dealing with health inequalities that those members of the community who either aren’t registered with a GP, or see no value in accessing healthcare, continue to suffer. So in this era of NHS reforms it is critical that reducing inequalities becomes a key focus for frontline health providers: not just GPs, but also community pharmacists.

Ask Your Pharmacist if you want to know more about medicines & self care

Friday, November 5th, 2010

As a specialist healthcare communications consultancy, PRimage is spreading the word on the range of services and skills available at your local pharmacy to help you and your family stay fit and healthy – and all available without an appointment!  You can find out more from pharmacies all round the country because from 8th November it’s ‘Ask Your Pharmacist Week’.  The week is organised by the National Pharmacy Association, who want to encourage more people to make better use of pharmacy’s accessability and skills as a frontline source of healthcare expertise, service and advice.

New research shows that public awareness of the services available from pharmacies lags behind reality. In an NPA survey of 1,123 UK adults carried out between 22 and 27 October 2010, most people thought that less than a third of community pharmacies have consultation areas, whereas a substantial majority have them. The survey also showed that half of respondents thought that community pharmacies do not offer screening for sexually transmitted infections, whereas around 6,000 pharmacies across the UK now offer chlamydia screening.

Pharmacy2U lobby on internet pharmacy logo guidelines & verification

Friday, November 5th, 2010

PRimage client, Pharmacy2U, is the UK’s leading dedicated internet and mail order pharmacy operation, and advocates that internet pharmacy, properly and professionally regulated and strictly monitored, provides a valuable service and additional choice for consumers. Since its launch in 1999, the company’s robust checks and balances business processes and powerful audit systems have been a benchmark example of best practice in e-pharmacy.

Pharmacy2U Managing Director, Daniel Lee, says that during the past year he has noted,  with increasing concern, that the current internet pharmacy logo is being used by pharmacies which do not adhere to the current Code of Ethics and the proposed GPhC Council Standards for pharmacy owners and superintendent pharmacists of retail pharmacy business services. This is a matter of great professional and commercial concern for Pharmacy2U, and to highlight the problem and validate their concerns, the company have conducted an audit and review of the websites of 100 online pharmacies using the Internet Pharmacy Logo.

The audit research findings are very disturbing and reinforce this growing problem – revealing that a number of pharmacies displaying the internet pharmacy logo unfortunately have not fulfilled even the simplest requirements of the standard: such as clearly displaying the name of the owner of the business, or providing information on how to confirm the registration status of the pharmacy or pharmacist.

Of the 100 pharmacies reviewed in the audit sample:
•    23% were not conforming
•    14% were not showing the name of the business
•    16% did not state the superintendent pharmacist
•    16% were not displaying information on how to confirm status
•    16% were not displaying complaints information
•    13% were contravening NHS brand guidelines

Mr Lee comments: “We believe strongly that the verification process for the internet pharmacy logo needs to be robustly monitored and adhered to.  It is vital that the new GPhC, DH, policy makers and other stakeholders recognise this – and Pharmacy2U are committed to campaigning to achieve this. The internet pharmacy logo could be a fantastic tool to enable consumers to find a trusted source of internet pharmacy – but its success and validity can only be based on a tightly controlled process for the distribution of the logo and the monitoring of its use”

“Over the past decade internet and mail order pharmacy has been positively recognised within many Department of Health policy documents – and has been acknowledged as fulfilling the NHS ethos of meeting the needs of patients, with ease of access, convenience and choice. Our research findings show that the credibility and integrity of Internet pharmacy is being put at risk – which is damaging for consumers and for the confidence that the public and opinion holders have in online pharmacy.”

Pharmacy2U recommend that the following five requirements are needed to increase the robustness of the verification process for the internet pharmacy logo, ensuring:
•    Patients privacy is protected
•    Adherence to a recognized and agreed standard of practice
•    Conformation to other standards such as Trading standards, Distance Selling Directives, ISO90071, etc
•    On site inspection mandatory with appropriate costs charged to the registering pharmacy
•    Possibility of a new third party organisation to ensure that applicants meet the initial and ongoing requirements for registration
These recommendations will be part of the Pharmacy2U campaigning message to the GPhC and other key opinion formers and policy makers.

Pharmacy2U is further worried about the many illegal internet pharmacies operating in the UK. Mr Lee has zero tolerance of illegal and non conforming internet pharmacies – and the company continually report these rogue websites to the MHRA. Unfortunately, according to Mr Lee, there is little the MRHA can do for rogue websites operating outside of the UK.

The company is not alone in their concerns on this issue. In September Google announced its intention to file lawsuits against online rogue pharmacies that it believes have deliberately broken its advertising rules.

Personalised Healthcare

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

This morning Judy Viitanen checked out an interesting new report from Nuffield Council on Bioethics, ‘Personalised Healthcare’ – Medical profiling and online medicine: the ethics of  ‘personalised healthcare’ in a consumer age.

This report weighs up the benefits and harms, along with the ethical values that come into play.  These developments include direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling and body imaging, and websites that provide health advice, storage of health records and medicines for sale. PRimage is especially interested in Chapter 7 – which covers buying medicines online.

Check out the executive summary at:


Generic substitution of medicines will not be implemented

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

The Department of Health has announced that the Government has decided not to progress with plans for the generic substitution of medicines in primary care. Following a full public consultation the Government has published its response which outlines the reasons why proposals which would have allowed dispensers to replace branded drugs for generic versions when dispensing a prescription will now not be implemented in England.

The response to the consultation on proposals to implement generic substitution in primary care is available on line at:


Earl Howe, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Quality, commented:
“We know that there are valuable savings to be made from the use of generic medicines where it is clinically appropriate. However, we believe that national plans to enforce generic substitution in primary care are too prescriptive.

“We have listened to the concerns from the public, patients and other interested parties about legislative proposals to enable pharmacists to replace a branded medicine with a generic medicine. It is also not clear whether the proposals would have provided substantial benefit to the NHS, compared to the efforts of frontline staff to implement them. This is why we have decided not to progress with national implementation.

“We want patients to get the drugs their doctors recommend at the best price for the taxpayer. Patients should be reassured that we are looking at more appropriate ways of supporting the use of generic medicines and, in the long term, value-based pricing will help to ensure we pay a price for drugs which better reflects their value.”


Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Key opinion formers from the pharmacy sector and pharmaceutical and healthcare industries came together on the weekend of 18-19 September, to celebrate the Day Lewis Group’s Annual Conference, Awards and Gala Dinner. Over 350 Day Lewis Pharmacy staff members from around the country – branch managers, pharmacists, technicians, Pre-Registration students, MCA’s and head office personnel – enjoyed two busy days of lively networking, debate, business opportunities, training sessions and a diverse range of informative seminars.

Commenting on the Conference, Day Lewis CEO, Kirit Patel, said:
“Our annual Day Lewis Conference is always an important and enjoyable event – but this year it was especially significant, as we are celebrating our 35th anniversary of the founding of the Day Lewis pharmacy group, in 1975. During the past week, I have received a lot of positive feedback from our staff and guests – and I am extremely pleased that so many people had an enjoyable and valuable conference experience.  I was delighted to welcome so many valued pharmacy colleagues and business associates, and on a personal level; it was my privilege and pleasure to present 10 Day Lewis staff Awards. It’s the people who work for us that make our company so special, which is why our ethos of teamwork will always be at the very heart of our future business and practice success.”

The Conference agenda of business and training sessions, hosted by guest speakers from Merck Serono, Novartis, GSK, J&J, IDH and Reckitt Benckiser, was structured to cover important pharmacy practice and business topics, highlighting innovation and current trends, challenges and aspirations within the profession.  The Trade Show, supported by over 50 major pharmaceutical sponsors and Day Lewis suppliers, proved especially popular with delegates.

The high spot of the two-day conference was the ever-popular Day Lewis Gala Dinner, which was attended by over 400 guests from the world of pharmacy, business and politics, as well as the all-important Day Lewis staff – many of whom embraced the evening’s ‘Viva Las Vegas!’ theme, with stunning success!    The Gala Dinner also proved an ideal opportunity for Kirit to showcase staff success stories from the Day Lewis branches – and a number of staff received coveted awards in recognition for their achievements and excellence.

In his Gala Dinner ‘welcome’ speech, Kirit gave guests a whistle-stop review and anecdotes of his career and the milestone in the company’s history. He commented that over the past three decades, Day Lewis  had experienced both success and struggle in equal measure – weathering the recession and high interest rates of the early 1980’s, and rising to the professional challenges and opportunities to deliver modern, public-facing pharmacy services for the benefit of patients.  He reflected on the enormous financial pressures and challenges facing the profession – and highlighted his personal ethos and vision to be at the forefront of innovation and positive initiatives in the independent pharmacy multiples sector.

Kirit concluded with a commitment to developing expertise in delivering pharmacy and business process change, saying: “As we celebrate the past 35 years and anticipate the future, my aspiration is to build on our achievements in making Day Lewis a great healthcare brand that champions people’s health. Day Lewis has a solid history and a strong future!”

PRimage VIP Events – delivering memorable VIP events!

Friday, July 30th, 2010


PRimage VIP Events Team

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Black Tie Events, Celebrations & Parties
  • Corporate Dinners
  • Corporate Hospitality
  • Road Shows
  • Trade events & Exhibitions
  • Awards Programmes
  • Conferences
  • Seminars, Congresses & Symposium
  • Internal, external and Partner events
  • Sponsorship Management
  • Product launches
  • Executive and Board meetings
  • Press events

We provide an outsourced option – or can work as an extension to your own team.

Our services include:

  • All pre-event negotiations and publicity
  • Venue research and sourcing
  • Bookings and liaison with venues and suppliers
  • Full facilitation for your guests including invitations, attendance confirmations, dietary requirements, registration
  • Speech writing, publicity and photography

Corporate Events

When you are planning a spectacular corporate event it’s vital that you choose the right company to help. Whatever the event, professional event organising makes it an unforgettable experience that has been carefully planned for every contingency and diligently controlled to delight the senses and be truly appreciated by all.

PRimage VIP Events aim to make your events exceed expectations

PRimage VIP Events aim to make your life easier and add value to your business

Venue Finding

Whatever your event requirement – personal, family or business – our experience and knowledge of the hotel and venue sector ensures the very best available package for you. We can find an imaginative, cost-effective and appropriate venue that will set the right atmosphere and ambiance for your event.

Andrew Lansley – “Pharmacies are an under-used asset in delivering better health” – PRimage comment

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

lansley-31As Health Secretary Andrew Lansley publishes further details on the NHS White Paper today, Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team had their mid-morning coffee break tuning into Mr Lansley’s live online White Paper Q&A via the Number 10 web site.

With clients in the pharmacy and healthcare sector, PRimage has been keen to know what the NHS Health White Paper would mean for pharmacists. So Judy was delighted and encouraged to hear some really positive comments from the health secretary on the value and potential of community pharmacy.

Andrew Lansley commented:pharmacists

“Pharmacies are an under-used asset in delivering better health”

“ GPs have too often seen themselves and pharmacists in competition for resources. With GP-led commissioning I believe we will see a greater recognition by local consortia that pharmacy is an integral part and an effective part of how they can deliver services better, for example minor ailments and medicines’ use reviews”pharmacist-2

“Through local authorities we will also be delivering local health improvement strategies, they can and should be developing preventative work with pharmacists, like the health check or Chlamydia screening”

“Under the pharmacy contract we had simply not seen the development of those additional services that was intended, we need to ensure that the pharmacy contract delivers what all participants wanted which is fair and transparent funding for dispensing and an increasing opportunity for pharmacy to offer health services”pharmacy-4