This year I am delighted to be co-chairing our Women in Leadership event
on 3rd October 2019 with
the RPS President Sandra Gidley. We had an incredible response to our
event last year and want this year to be even bigger and better!
The theme of this years event is Believe and Achieve. The day is full of practical advice and workshops to help you believe in yourself, celebrate your successes and be comfortable with your ambition. We have sessions with Clare Howard and Frances Akor who are current leaders; they will be sharing who their role models are and what values they believe you need to be successful.
Women are often negatively labelled according to their personality traits such as ‘too aggressive’ when they’ve demonstrated confidence in their roles, and others have included ‘too serious’, ‘too questioning,’ ‘too emotional’ and ‘too caring’.
You’ll learn how to achieve your next leadership role by challenging these stereotypes, as well as getting practical advice on how to overcome difficulties, increase your resilience and craft a winning CV. We have workshops by Harpreet Chana and Heather Fraser from IBM on increasing your confidence and position yourself to get that leadership post.
To embrace the diversity of experiences and beliefs that women bring to leadership teams we also have a men as allies session, to celebrate the differences between men and women and how we can work together to be a successful team.
You’ll leave the event feeling more confident to apply for and take on leadership roles and also to support female colleagues to take those steps to becoming a great leader.
by pharmacist Harpreet Chana, certified professional coach, speaker, trainer and founder of the Mental Wealth Academy
I am so excited to be leading a workshop on confidence at the RPS Women in Leadership Event! After attending the event last year and learning that the main barrier we face as women in progressing up the ranks within our sector was confidence, I wanted to run a workshop to address this issue and am delighted to be doing so.
Never too late
From my own experience, I understand that confidence, resilience, emotional intelligence and better outer/inner communication are essential life and leadership skills. They enable us to be mentally tough, deal with life’s challenges and are core skills that help reduce the impact of mental health on performance and life fulfilment. We are not taught these at school or university, but the good news is, it’s not too late! We can still learn these vital skills and how to apply them to our daily lives so that we are all much healthier and happier individuals as a result.
How confident are you really? Has there ever been a time where a lack of confidence has stopped you from going for what you really want? From speaking up? From asking for a pay rise/promotion? From putting yourself forward for opportunities at work or at home?
How do you talk to yourself on a daily basis? Are you very critical of yourself if you make a mistake or can you forgive yourself and seize the opportunity to grow and learn from every slip-up? No matter how confident we think we are, there are always times when a lack of confidence or our biggest fears can hold us back from achieving our true potential. My confidence mini masterclass will help you to address how you see yourself and to appreciate how truly awesome you really are!
by Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS in Wales
Discussions at the recent Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting reminded me of the sheer breadth of advocacy work we are taking forward on behalf of our members. The quality and volume of work is quite incredible, as is the commitment of the RPS team and our Board Members. Yet, much of this hard work is unseen until a final outcome is arrived at.
As quick wins
in the world of advocacy are rare (see previous blog on
our influencing work) I wanted to take this opportunity to outline some of the
key work that is currently underway in Wales to influence change and
improvement for the profession and our patients.
Your voice at the top tables
We continue to
work with the Welsh Government to ensure our members interests are represented
in national policy and guidance as well as strategic decisions.
by Stephanie West, RPS Regional Liaison Pharmacist
In our previous blog, Nicky Gray spoke about the ‘strength and authenticity’ of relationships between stakeholders as central to successful integrated working. The same holds true when engaging the populations we serve. Promoting a positive patient experience of health and social care services, through providing integrated out-of-hospital care for patients, is a central aim for PCNs.
Community pharmacy has firm foundations to build upon. The National Healthwatch Report 2016 found that:
Three quarters of people say they would go to a pharmacist, rather than a GP, to get medication for a minor illness.
Over half would go to a pharmacist to seek advice for a specific minor illness or injury.
A third of people would consider using a pharmacy instead of visiting a GP for general medical advice.’
Community pharmacy was also the healthcare service of choice for ‘traditionally harder to engage groups.’ Significantly, the report found that participants ‘trusted the pharmacist’.
One thing that strikes me is – how are patients being consulted and educated about the increasing clinical services delivered by pharmacists? How is the patient voice being captured?
GP Practices have engaged with patients through Patient Participation Groups for many years, to make sure ‘that their practice puts the patient, and improving health, at the heart of everything it does’ These could be a useful forum to capture patient views on new ways of accessing care from the wider PCN team. If you are part of a group focussing on the role of pharmacists in the practice, please get in touch.
Community pharmacists have to conduct an annual patient survey. This focuses on traditional services and advice-giving and could be developed to raise awareness of different clinical services.
The Berwick Review called for the NHS to ‘Engage, empower, and hear patients and carers at all times’. NHS Trusts have patient and public engagement strategies, recognising the importance of capturing patient views. There are opportunities to do this, many trusts will have patient representation on their Medicines Safety Committee, but can we engage them more widely as strategies for pharmacy and medicines optimisation are developed across Integrated Care Systems?
Liberating the NHS: No decision about me without me focussed on shared-decision making. How are pharmacists ensuring that patients are fully involved in decisions about their own care and treatment? How is pharmacy linked with local communities, groups and networks? NICE Guidance identifies Shared decision-making as ‘an essential part of evidence-based medicine’ and the NHS Patient Safety Strategy 2019 commits to: ‘Commission shared decision-making (SDM) training for clinical pharmacists moving into PCNs, to work with patients with atrial fibrillation (AF) on anticoagulants’.
Get in touch
Our new System Leadership Resource section on ‘Culture Change’ includes a focus on meaningful engagement with local people. If you have a case study showing how you have improved health outcomes or developed a service through patient engagement, shared-decision making and/or co-production we would like to share your insights so please do contact us.
By Dr Duncan Petty, Member of the English Pharmacy Board
It was great to see the news this week about how the NHS plans to make greater use of community pharmacy to help prevent 150,000 strokes, heart attacks and cases of vascular dementia, supporting earlier detection and management of cardiovascular risks.
Cardiovascular disease incidence can be
reduced through better lifestyles and the optimisation of preventative
medicines, such as antihypertensives and statins to prevent vascular strokes
and ischaemic heart disease / myocardial infarction, and anticoagulants for
stroke prevention in atrial fibrillation.
NHS plans will include using pharmacists in
the community (community pharmacy and general practice-based) to work on
identification of at-risk individuals; offering lifestyle advise and supporting
long-term changes in poor lifestyle; offering or optimising preventative
medicines, and helping patients remain on these medicines. Pharmacists having
been doing this work around the UK for many years. The difference going forward
is that these services will be done in a systematic way and on a wider scale.
The community pharmacy contract could see
(subject to successful pilots and roll-out) screening services for hypertension
and atrial fibrillation. In general practice pharmacists might already be
familiar with using tools such as AlivecorR to detect AF and most
pharmacist will be able to measure blood pressures. However, to advise patients
on 10-year cardiovascular risks a cholesterol level will be needed as will skills
in using risk calculators such as QRISK 3.
For patients with a high cardiovascular risk
score, overall risk can be reduced through lifestyle (especially smoking
cessation support); reduced blood pressure (from lifestyle changes and
introduction on antihypertensives) and offering statins at an evidence-based
dose. There are plenty of examples where pharmacist have been involved in case
finding untreated and undertreated patients and offering medicines optimisation
and lifestyle support, which you can read about in our roundtable
Offering oral anticoagulants (OACs) for stroke
prevention in AF (SPAF) is more complex and requires skills and knowledge on
what are true contraindications to OAC (actually there are very few); access to
the full medical history and team work with the GP and specialist pharmacy
anticoagulant services. Most patients when they have had risks and benefits of
OAC explained to them are keen to accept therapy but pharmacists need to be
skilled in running these types of consultations.
Once patients are prescribed OAC, statins and
antihypertensives ongoing reviews are required. Community pharmacy will be well
placed to support adherence and to offer patients ongoing advise on reducing
bleed risks from OACs (e.g. using the HAS BLED tool) but to perform a full
clinical review of most CV medicines access to the clinical record will be
required e.g. to check monitoring parameters such as U+Es, full blood count
etc). There is nothing to stop community pharmacists performing these reviews
if they are given access to the patient’s clinical record. Whether community
pharmacy access is granted or not is dependent on local arrangements and
funding, but examples exist across whole communities such as in Fleetwood.
Cardiovascular medicines optimisation services are already running in
parts of the NHS. What we need now is to share the learning and adopt
standardised services at scale to help improve patient care, safety and value
to the NHS.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the dedicated professional body for pharmacists and pharmacy in England, Scotland and Wales.
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