The Pharmacy of the Year 2021 will embrace a unique format to reflect the challenges presented to the sector in 2020.
These challenges have seen pharmacists and their staff go to amazing lengths to help patients and their communities. Community pharmacies have faced increased workloads and the need to rapidly adapt systems and workflows to address issues stemming from panic buying of medicines, medicine shortages, telehealth image-based prescriptions, social distancing and physical restriction measures, heightened infection control procedures, sourcing personal protective equipment for staff and the public, and the high demand for influenza vaccinations.
To reflect this, Pharmacy of the Year 2021 will move from the traditional process where pharmacies either self-nominate or are nominated by branches or QCPP assessors. Rather than following a judging process which includes visits to finalist pharmacies, this year the award will showcase the community pharmacy network and all that community pharmacies have done and continue to do during these challenging times.
National President of the Pharmacy Guild George Tambassis said the format would be inclusive of the whole profession.
“This format will allow 2021 to be seen as a year of reflection and celebration of all community pharmacies and their contribution to the health of Australians,” he said.
“It will highlight the responses to the bushfires, COVID-19, their adaptations, transformations and the integral role they have played in their communities and for their patients.”
The awards are sponsored by Care Pharmaceuticals whose General Manager Jonathan Biddle said the unique approach to the award in 2021 was an opportunity to reflect on the great work of the sector as a whole.
“This year will be long remembered as perhaps the most challenging in the profession’s history but throughout it community pharmacies have continued to operate and work to meet the needs of their patients,” he said.
“This community spirit and commitment will be reflected in the new format and I look forward to seeing some of the wonderful achievements of the often-unsung heroes in pharmacy being recognised and highlighted.”
With the new format there will be no application processes for Pharmacy of the Year 2021.
Instead the Guild across Australia will work closely its members and the community to find the stories from the coalface - the pharmacies who have stood out, that have made significant differences to their communities, that have innovated and adapted to address the changing landscape and needs of patients.
These are the exemplar pharmacies that Pharmacy of the Year 2021 will recognise and celebrate.