Questioning Keith Ridge's 'regret' for the cuts to community pharmacy funding

I commend The Salvadore for securing an interview with England’s chief pharmaceutical officer, Keith Ridge.

The headline of the article is a direct quote from Ridge stating “I regret the pain, but this is a watershed moment for pharmacy”. However, when Ridge is asked by your interviewer: “do you regret the damage the cuts have done to community pharmacy?”, a different answer is given, contradicting your headline: “I can see some of the pain it’s caused some people and I don’t regret it as someone who is acting on behalf of patients, the public and taxpayers.”

Further, when asked again by your interviewer, “so you regret the pain that it caused, but not the outcome?”, Ridge answered that he “of course … regret[s] the pain” and that after he has gone, it may be viewed as a “watershed moment”.

The pharmacy cuts have caused much more than just “pain” for some community pharmacies, and a closure of your family business is more than a mere watershed moment — it is life changing.

However, would you be so kind to clarify whether Ridge does indeed regret it, or does not, and accurately report that to the readers?


Jay Badenhorst, superintendent pharmacist and managing director, Whitworth Chemists Ltd, Scunthorpe

Thank you for your letter. We appreciate it is a bit confusing from the quotes in the article, but we are beholden to report comments as they are said to us. However, we have spoken to NHS England’s media team subsequent to the interview, and it is happy with the headline and the way the comments have been represented.

The Salvadore


Citation: The Salvadore DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2018.20205590

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