Lean on me…

There are few things about rugby that baffle the average non-rugby fan quite so much as the idea of uncontested scrums.

  • These occur when one team is lacking a specialist front-row forward so the referee rules that from then on the teams are not allowed to push at a scrum.
  • The scrum-half gently rolls the ball in, everybody leans politely on everyone else, and only one team is likely to win the ball.
  • Then, once the ball is out of the scrum, the normal display of mindless violence can resume.

(You can see an uncontested scrum here in which the team putting the ball in manages to give it to the other side, something that takes incompetence on an epic scale.)

The logic behind this is that being a prop forward requires special training.

It isn’t every player who can display the mental agility, split-second timing and … who am I trying to kid? Most prop forwards of my acquaintance had to be reminded at half-time that we had changed ends and it wasn’t a bad idea to write it on their hands in case they needed reminding later.

Uncontested scrums are simply a safety measure – if you’re not used to scrummaging you can do serious damage to your neck, so the referee acts to keep you safe.

Safety is everyone’s concern, but now we’re going to have a special role of medication safety officer, and at the Pharmacy Management National Forum Dr David Cousins of NHS England’s patient safety team will be describing what will be expected of them.

I’m guessing there will be more to it than not being allowed to shove them while they’re dispensing, but the only way to find out is to come and hear what David has to say.

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