Managerial MURs

Received today a very interesting e-mail from my District Manager, but before I tell more, let me paint a bit of a background picture of St DrugMagister.

DrugMagister has been a manager in some kind of pharmacy setup since 1994.  He has hit many speed bumps along the way, but has always clung to the mantra: ‘Do unto others as you would like done unto yourself.’  This philosophy has been applied both down and up the corporate ladder with everyone he has been in contact with, and in general it has served him well.  He still has meaningful relationships with many individuals that he has served or those that have served under him, and he takes special pride in those with whom, at the time, many head butting sessions were had.  He is not Harvard qualified, nor pretends to be, but this he knows – threatening your staff seldom if ever draws positive results.

Back to the e-mail.  This e-mail was sent to all the district manager’s reports, and no single individual was singled out.  Herewith some  quotes from the aforementioned e-mail:

‘This is not looking good at all!’

‘If I do not see an improvement in these figures for August then I will be forced to take drastic action.’

‘You will also lose the right to the branch bonus.’

‘For those without double-up Pharmacists I want reasons as to why you were unable to meet your MUR targets.’

‘I will not accept ‘I was too busy’ and disciplinary action could be taken.’

and with further reference to MURs: ‘By not performing, we are not fulfilling our duties as Pharmacists.’

and then the final clinch: ‘You have been warned!’

Now I know that the RPS has done some work with regards to work place pressure and that they do provide advice on their website, and also that the PDA has done some sterling work as well, but the reality on the ground is that very few, if any, pharmacists have had much benefit from these efforts.  We are being hounded with venom, called names, and even labeled unprofessional and that not only by our customers!  Driven by the corporate demand for greater profits, our very ranks are turning on us.

Not long ago, I was privileged to partake in a Twit conversation regarding the new NMS which will be rolled out come October 2011, and even though I applaud the DH and the PSNC for giving us yet another chance to integrate with the greater healthcare team, I can not but wonder if they had not given another stick to the bosses to hit us with.

As a professional I fully appreciate the value of MURs and am even excited about the future around NMS, but I do resent the fact that my professional integrity is being sacrificed on the altar of Mammon.  These services will be done if, and only if I, and I only, am convinced about the clinical benefit that the patient might derive from the consultation, and I will not be bullied into doing them solely for the sake of numbers.  That is wholly apart from the fact that I resent ‘milking’ the NHS for every penny it is worth.  This Organisation is the envy of many other countries in the world, and I for one would like to still benefit from it when I finally retire, what ever the retirement age is when I get there…

One day the NHS fraud squad is going to take a hapless pharmacist to task, that is the day I truly hope the PDA pounces on each and every irresponsible boss, thereby revealing the cancer that has beset our profession.

I truly wish that each and every MUR TARGET gets its day in Tottenham.

castigat ridendo mores


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