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Archive for July, 2007


Sunday, July 15th, 2007

The deadline for nomination entries for the Pharmas For Pharmacy Awards has been extended by three weeks, to 10 September 2007. So there’s still plenty of time to tell us about your excellent work in pharmacy practice.    The awards are dedicated to recognising and rewarding the hard work, commitment and innovative ideas and contributions across all sectors within the pharmacy profession. Nominations are welcome now – and are open to all pharmacists around the UK.

In addition, there are two special awards, which are not within the nomination process. The ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, which is in the gift of the main Pharmas Judging Panel, Chaired by Gerald Alexander, former Vice President of the RPSGB. The final award is the ‘Pharmacy Show Chairman’s Award’ for individual outstanding contribution to pharmacy in 2007. The winner of this award will be chosen by The Pharmacy Show Chairman, Kirit Patel, CEO of Day Lewis Plc.

For more information about the Pharmas For Pharmacy Awards, or to make an on-line nomination, please visit the awards website at www.pioneershows.co.uk.   Remember, the new closing date for all on-line award categories is 5pm on Monday 10th September 2007.

PRimage comment

PRimage is handling the publicity for these prestigious, UK-wide awards, which span all sectors of pharmacy. PRimage managing director, Judy Viitanen, urges pharmacists everywhere to take the time to make their mark and submit a nomination for themselves or a colleague or pharmacy team.  The Awards organisers – Pioneer Shows – and PRimage want to shine the spotlight and celebrate the many success stories in community, hospital and industry pharmacy practice!

Are some teachers really ‘not up to the job?

Monday, July 9th, 2007

As a former Secondary School Governor, Judy Viiitanen was interested to see the report from the right-wing think-tank Politeia on the teaching profession.  They warn that the teaching profession is in crisis – with massive shortages in key subjects and staff who are not up to the job.

It appears that under half of teachers in secondary schools are teaching the subject they studied at university while only 45% of new primary school teachers have two good A-levels. Judy Viitanen agrees with the report that the problem lies in part, with Government policies which focus on increasing teacher numbers with no regard for quality.

What’s your opinion?  PRimage want to know your views.

Quote of the Week ….

Friday, July 6th, 2007

…. “The Leader of the Opposition forgets that I have been in this job for five days.”

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team rate this comment, made by Gordon Brown, during a dismal and very nervous performanance at his first House of Commons PM’s Questions session, as our ‘quote of the week’. Priceless ! ….. What’s your view?

Thinking about buying a property overseas?

Friday, July 6th, 2007

If you are thnking of buying a second home abroad, you should gen up on local planning laws.  Judy Viitanen has owned properties in Greece – where the planning laws are a nightmare!   A new survey shows that Brits considering buying a second home abroad are largely oblivious of the local housing laws that would affect them.  The survey claims that 51 per cent of 35- to 44-year-olds would not consider local planning regulations when in the market for an overseas property.

Tories add new MPs to Cameron’s team

Friday, July 6th, 2007

As a fomer Tory Councillor, and strong Conservative supporter, Judy Viitanen was really encouraged to see that as part of his cabinet reshuffle, David Cameron has included more female and younger MPs.  Among them is the youngest female Tory MP Justine Greening, 38, and the first black Tory MP Adam Afriyie, 41. Other new spokesmen include Mike Penning on Health, another of the 2005 intake, and an MP that PRimage rate very highly.

£50m funding for cleaner hospitals

Friday, July 6th, 2007

Judy Viitanen believes it is very welcome news that the new Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has announced £50m extra funding to tackle healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. The government also aims to double the size of infection improvement teams so that any trust that is not on course to meet the 2008 MRSA target or has a significant number of patients with C difficile will have access to a team of experts to help them reduce infection.

Prescription meds becoming the new marijuana on campus

Friday, July 6th, 2007

A US CASA report claims that between 1993 and 2005 the proportion of college students abusing prescription drugs, such as Vicodin and other opiods went up 343 percent, about 240,000 individuals.

PRimage comment

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team hear that prescription drug abuse in the States is particularly common among upper middle class students.

Department of Health – new faces in the ministerial line-up

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

It’s all change at the DH, with a raft of new ministerial appointments to support the new Health Secretary, Alan Johnson. In pole position in the ministerial line up is Brown’s stalwart from the Treasury, The Rt Hon Dawn Primarolo, who is the new Minister of State.  The Parliamentary Under Secretary’s of State are: Ann Keen, Ben Bradshaw and Sir Ara Darzi. Only Ivan Lewis remains from the Hewitt health team.  Watch this space for an update on the health portfolios … 

PRimage comment

Dawn Primarolo and Professor Sir Ara Darzi are both interesting and strategic choices.  Ms Primarolo is a strong and loyal Brownite – and given her provenance at the Treasury, it suggests to Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team that Brown intends to ensure a sound fiscal approach to NHS finances, by putting a heavyweight like Primarolo in a core role at the DH.

As to Sir Ara Darzi – as a specialist healthcare lobbying consultancy, PRimage view his appointment as innovative.  We understand that he will be tasked with improving patient care – a promotion on his former role as an advisor on surgery and on NHS modernisation.

Sir Ara, chair of surgery at Imperial College London, supports government plans to reconfigure NHS services. It seems that Sir Ara will combine his ministerial duties with his research and clinical commitments, including the supervision of students. Evidently he will work Monday to Thursday as a minister – being paid for three days – and continue to work as an NHS surgeon, unpaid, on Fridays. Any income from his international private practice will be paid direct to Imperial College to fund research.

Stubbed out! England now smoke-free!

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

So, here we are, the first day of the ban on smoking in public places in England, which Judy Vitanen believes will be seen by many hardened smokers as spelling an end to their habit of having a cigarette with their pint in pubs, bars and clubs.!

Virtually all enclosed public places are now smokefree; this includes offices, warehouses, factories, pubs, cafes, railway stations, working vehicles and leisure centres. England is the final part of the UK to introduce a ban, after Wales and Northern Ireland in April and Scotland last March. The Republic of Ireland made the move three years ago.

Newly-appointed Health Secretary Alan Johnson has hailed the ban as a big step towards a healthier population.

PRimage comment

If, like Judy Viitanen, you are still a smoker – but are considering stubbing out the ciggies, you should try using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). NRT is suitable for most people, however you should check with your pharmacist or doctor if you are pregnant, have a heart or circulatory condition or if you take regular medication.

Nicotine products, like patches and gum, help you to deal with nicotine withdrawal cravings, and double your chances of successfully going smokefree. NRT works differently to cigarettes. It does not contain toxic chemicals like tar or carbon monoxide, and does not cause cancer. Have a word with your local pharmacist, who can help you choose the NRT product which will be best for you, answer your questions and concerns – and be a great support to you throughout the process of quitting. Good luck!

Prestigious Awards for Pharmacy

Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Do you or your colleagues merit a prestigious PHARMAs For Pharmacy Award?

Are you a pharmacist who deserves to be recognised for your innovative pharmacy practice? If so nominate yourself for a Pharmas For Pharmacy Award now! Or are you a healthcare professional who works with a pharmacy team or a colleague and feel they have excelled in innovative pharmacy practice, customer service, increased medication compliance, or improved medication outcomes for patients? Then you should be considering nominating him or her for one or more of the 21 categories in the Pharmas For Pharmacy Awards 2007, to ensure your colleagues are recognised for their achievements. You can also self-nominate and fly your own pharmacy flag.

The PHARMAS For Pharmacy Awards 2007 recognise the achievers of the profession: those involved in innovative practice; those who are striving to raise practice standards; and pharmacists who, through their professionalism, provide a model of practice which others strive to emulate. As such, they are viewed as the crème de la crème professional awards initiative to celebrate and reward outstanding achievement in the field of pharmacy – and are managed by Pioneer Shows, the organisers of The Pharmacy Show – which is the UK’s premier pharmacy exhibition and industry show.

“The 21 individual awards encompass and recognise all aspects of the pharmaceutical profession within one event, and are designed specifically to recognise the achievement of a wide range of individuals, spanning the pharmacy field – from grass roots through to big business. The PHARMAS For Pharmacy Awards provide an inclusive professional forum for pharmaceutical bodies and pharmacists to come together in celebration of their forward thinking, proactive patient initiatives and success”, explains Pioneer’s Managing Director, Nick Orton.

PRimage comment:

Judy Viitanen and the PRimage team believe strongly that individual pharmacists and members of the pharmacy team in community, hospital and industry settings that demonstrate the highest standards in pharmacy practice are an inspiration to all and they deserve to be celebrated. Being short listed for a PHARMA Award – even better winning one – will help to boost your pharmacy profile and signal that you are truly a trailblazer. Reaching the final shortlist is proof to your peers, colleagues and patients that your pharmacy and your work have been judged to be amongst the best in the pharmacy field. .

The glittering PHARMA Awards ceremony and Gala Dinner will take place on October 14, hosted at the 5 Star Hilton Hilton Metropole, NEC in Birmingham, on the opening day of The Pharmacy Show 2007. Awards will be presented by a line up of high profile names.