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A prescriptive life

My day

7.00am: The alarm goes, or one of my three kids arrives by my bed to let us know that it’s morning. A quick look at the BBC news app, flick through any new emails and then have a hectic hour getting myself ready, getting the kids ready for school and breathe a sigh of relief when my amazing nanny arrives at 8.00am.

8.15am: I try and cycle to work as much as possible to squeeze in some exercise. If I’m lucky with the traffic lights it’s a 30-minute cycle in to the Pharmacy Voice office in Bloomsbury Square. Today I’m on my Brompton bike which I can leave in the office as I’ll be at an event in the evening.

9.00am: Pharmacy Voice is an association of the leading trade bodies in community pharmacy and as an umbrella organisation there are not many of us so the office is pretty small. Today it’s a quick turnaround in the office replying to a few emails, grabbing a bowlful of muesli with a banana and checking through my list for the day.

9.30am: I’m off to the Royal Society as Pharmacy Voice chief executive Rob Darracott is giving the UCL School of Pharmacy annual lecture today and we’re previewing his material at a morning press conference. The UCL lecture is an important event for the pharmacy sector, presenting a strategic view of the year ahead. This year, with the particular pressure on GPs and A&Es, pharmacy has a lot to play for.

10.45am: The media briefing goes well, detailing Rob’s key points and launching a new UCL report on cancer outcomes. Follow up is steering some of the journalists to Rob for further questioning, filming by one of the key trade titles and taking advantage of some of the sandwiches on offer.

1.00pm: Back to the office and pleased to have a solid few hours at my desk. Open a Diet Coke and focus on public affairs activity with my colleague Deirdre. We developed a cross-sector community pharmacy manifesto and are focusing on MP engagement. The next pharmacy visit up is health select committee member Virendra Sharma, MP for Ealing.

3.00pm: Check in with Stewart in my agency team at Salix & Co. We catch up on the UCL event PR and discuss a MHRA decision to reclassify a pain relieving medicine as a prescription-only-medicine which we know will be frustrating for Pharmacy Voice members. Thankfully the MHRA shared its media plan shortly before issue so we can alert our member associations and prepare a statement in advance. 

5.00pm: The whole team heads to the Royal Society. With over 300 attendees for the lecture, the room is already buzzing. The attendee list has some very important stakeholders from NHS and public health organisations, so it’s a good opportunity to get some insight.

6.30pm: I take to Twitter through Rob’s lecture. We have good levels of engagement on the Pharmacy Voice handle and live tweeting from events is particularly popular with our followers and Rob’s views land well.

9.00pm: After couple of glasses of wine and some networking I get an Uber taxi home (one of my favourite services) for a late dinner with my husband. I check all the kids’ school stuff is in place for tomorrow, sit through some junk TV to unwind and I’m in bed by midnight.

Melissa Fife, director of communications at Pharmacy Voice

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