A Welsh perspective on FIP World Congress 2018 

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

by Jodie Williamson, Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

 

Last week 3000 pharmacists from 108 different countries came together in Glasgow for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) World Congress. This is a conference where pharmacists from around the world can share advances and developments from their country with an international audience in order to improve the benefits patients get from their medicines on a global level. With RPS hosting this year’s conference, I was lucky enough to attend and represent our team in Wales. FIP World Congress last came to the UK nearly 40 years ago, so getting to attend the conference so close to home was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.

 

We know that healthcare systems around the World are facing increasing pressures and demands on their services and this resulted in a real sense of the need for pharmacy services to change amongst all delegates. It was an eye-opening week for me!  

 

I learnt about how community pharmacists in Portugal are now working with general practices to offer early screening for a variety of conditions and are able to refer patients directly to the most appropriate services if a condition is identified, relieving the pressure on their GPs. They also run clinics with nurses and nutritionists to offer advice about diet and nutrition on the high street and now their patients are calling for them to be able to request blood tests and interpret their results. Community pharmacies are the first port of call for most healthcare needs in Portugal. 

 

I also attended an emotive and thought-provoking session on death and dying. We heard from countries where euthanasia has been legalised about the role of pharmacists in the process and how they are trained and supported to deliver excellent end-of-life care. The session challenged my thinking around the guiding principle for healthcare professionals to do no harm. An excellent quote that resonated with me during the session was “sometimes death ends suffering, not life”. 

 

Welsh RPS representatives at FIP 2018
Welsh RPS representatives at FIP 2018 (L-R) Avril Tucker, Andrew Evans, Dai John, Jodie Williamson, Suzanne Scott-Thomas, Rob Davies, Cheryl Way, Sophie Harding, Sarah Hiom

 On the other hand, the conference also made me realise how lucky I am to be trained and practicing in the UK. Our healthcare system, the quality of our training and development, and the standards that we work to are the envy of so many pharmacists from around the World. Whilst I learnt a lot from other countries a number of our Welsh pharmacists were also presenting their innovative work. From our community pharmacy Discharge Medicines Review (DMR) service to developments in cancer care at Velindre Cancer Centre, our pharmacists are doing an excellent job of putting Wales on the map as leaders of the profession on a global scale! 

Pride in Practice : Being brave

by Dr. Claire Thompson, RPS Deputy Chief Scientist

She…

I’ve written lots of blogs on science or leadership but never about being gay, so this is my first professional outing.

I’m fortunate in that I have never experienced overt homophobia in the workplace. This is in stark contrast to my personal life, where experiences have ranged from:

– Being abandoned by groups of friends at school;
– Family members not coming to my wedding because they didn’t “agree with it”; and
– Strangers in the street shouting “You deserve to die” for simply holding hands with my girlfriend. (No, this wasn’t the 1950s, it was 2003)

Even though they haven’t been painful professional experiences, it doesn’t mean there haven’t been uncomfortable ones. Like every time someone asks “What does your husband do?”. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve responded “They….” or “My partner….” Because I didn’t want people to feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. But the longer you leave it, the more uncomfortable the discussion gets.

When is the right time?

So, when is the right time to say “She” or “My girlfriend” or “My wife”? Over the last few years, I’ve made a conscious decision to get “She” in early. The birth of my daughter really helped with this. As a proud parent, I would show people photographs and they would say “You look great for having a young baby” to which I could respond “Oh my wife gave birth to her, and she looks better than I do!” (See the photo below as proof). I find that openness, humour and a baby photo go a long way to diffusing any discomfort. Of course, there have been occasions where I have just taken the compliment (please don’t tell my wife)!

Dr. Claire Thompson (right) with her family

Brave

Coming out to colleagues still doesn’t come naturally, it always takes an element of bravery and I do admit that there are some people that I still don’t tell because I know they will judge me unfairly. Ultimately, we need to be comfortable with what we share about ourselves.
But if you do want people in the workplace to know that you are gay, take a deep breath and go for it.
Be brave. Be you.

Pride in Practice

by Sarah Steel MRPharmS, RPS Wales Policy and Practice Co-ordinator

Sarah Steel MRPharmS, Policy and Practice Coordinator

With August being the month we in Wales choose to celebrate Pride, what better time for the RPS Wales team to join the ongoing campaign for unity, equality, acceptance and embracement. To show our solidarity, some of our RPS staff members will be sharing their experiences in pharmacy as members of the LBGT community, and on the 24th of August, the eve of Pride Cymru, in the office we will be donning our brightest colours, eating rainbow cakes and flying the flag in support of Pride.

Why we still need to worry about equality

I’ve found myself thinking recently – if last year marked the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Sexual Offences Act and the “de-criminalisation of homosexuality”, why are members of the LGBT community still being tormented, isolated and discriminated against? It turns out, my ignorance was distorting my understanding. In 1967 homosexuality was in fact only partially de-criminalised; many anti-gay laws remained, and criminalisation did not in fact toally end in the United Kingdom until 2013. That’s only five years ago!

Five years ago, I was in my second year of University. Through my time at University and my career to date, I have been a proud member of the LGBT community. For the majority of the time, I have felt accepted and embraced, but I can’t say I have always felt that I am, or would always be, treated the same. My sexuality is something I am conscious of in interviews, when starting new jobs or working in new teams. I am still, in 2018, worried how people will react when, for example, I correct he to she when talking about my personal life. And I am sad to hear from colleagues and friends that they have had much worse experiences, including homophobic slurs and discrimination.

Join us and show your Pride in Practice

What stands out to me clearly is that LGBT rights and support is not a moot point, and there’s still a long way to go. The celebration of the campaign and the achievements so far is as important as ever, and we hope that through our blogs and  photos, we can be a part of the campaign for unity, equality, acceptance and embracement for all of our members. We’d love it for members to join us by sharing photos of your involvement this weekend, either at home or in the work place. Be sure to tag your social posts with #RPSPrideInPractice so we can share!

Mental Health – awareness counts, action matters.

by Sarah Steel MRPharmS, RPS Wales Policy and Practice Co-ordinator

Sarah Steel MRPharmS, Policy and Practice Coordinator

Over recent years, mental health has become something of a global conversation, a buzzword, a hashtag. Remove the stigma. Break the silence. Be open, talk, share.

Awareness is fantastic, conversation is progressive but how we act is what matters. An episode of mental illness is frightening, frustrating and isolating. As a pharmacist and a patient I have seen mental ill health from both sides and both are scary. People involved on both sides are often scared about the same things. What is ok to say? How do I act? How do I not make this worse? Awkwardness can be destructive.

Admitted to hospital, as a patient in crisis it was exhausting being asked again and again by different people what medication I was taking. No, I didn’t bring with me the third lot of meds that my doctor has prescribed that right now aren’t helping me feel better. I desperately wanted to get better, but I especially wanted and needed to be treated as a person, recognised as a person at a time when I felt so much less than that.

Read more Mental Health – awareness counts, action matters.

‘We do like to be beside the seaside’ – A snapshot of life as a pharmacist independent prescriber in a Health Board-managed practice

by Rob Davies MRPharmS MFRPSII, a pharmacist independent prescriber in the BCUHB managed practice at Healthy Prestatyn / Rhuddlan Iach, and Member of the Welsh Pharmacy Board

I work in the BCUHB-run primary care service of ‘Healthy Prestatyn / Rhuddlan Iach’, an innovative multi-disciplinary primary care service. The medicines team includes five pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and prescription clerks. Each pharmacist is in a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) caring for over 4,000 patients with GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, practice nurses, an occupational therapist, a physiotherapist and a key team coordinator.

My role includes independent prescribing, patient telephone consultations / medications reviews, liaison with community and hospital pharmacists about our mutual patients, and education of pre-registration pharmacists and medical students, and others all within the context of the MDT.

Read more ‘We do like to be beside the seaside’ – A snapshot of life as a pharmacist independent prescriber in a Health Board-managed practice

A revolution for health and social care in Wales?

by Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales

Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales
Ross Gregory, Head of External Relations, RPS Wales

If you haven’t already heard of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales, there is little doubt you soon will. Published early in the New Year and anticipated as one of the most important independent advisory reports for the NHS Wales in nearly two decades, the report makes a case for change for radically transforming the Welsh model of health and social care to make it fit and sustainable for the future.

I would recommend you take a look at the report. At less than 40 pages long, it’s far from an onerous or difficult read and you may find it provides a certain ‘feel good factor’. You may even find it provides a ray of hope that the challenges facing us in the delivery of health and social care services are being thoroughly addressed. Beyond the glow of enthusiasm and optimism however, a number of critical questions remain; Will the report have the potential to drive a revolution from within our system and significantly transform services? What will a new system look and feel like? What will this mean for pharmacy services and the future of pharmacy profession in Wales?

Read more A revolution for health and social care in Wales?

Share your pharmacy story with RPS Wales

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

by Jodie Williamson, Pharmacist and Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales

Every member of the pharmacy team has a story, and here at RPS Wales we want to hear yours. We collect the stories of our members and their colleagues here in Wales, and we want to share them more widely in words, images and videos, to help shine a light on the world of pharmacy & showcase the amazing work that’s being done by pharmacy teams right across Wales on a daily basis.

Stories are really powerful, and hearing a story or gaining an insight into someone’s daily life tells people considering pharmacy as a career, along with other healthcare professionals and members of the public, what we do and how we help more than facts and figures can.

Read more Share your pharmacy story with RPS Wales

Meeting rooms for hire at the RPS Office in Cardiff

Our facilities

The Welsh Office of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, situated in Cardiff Gate Business Park in Pontprennau, has two rooms available for hire, with video conferencing facilities. We can also arrange catering for your event.

Our premises are situated in an ideal location for all your business meetings, just off the M4, a short drive from the city centre and close to bus,  rail and airport links. There is on-site parking at this venue.

View our brochure »


Rooms

Our large, purpose built meeting room – The Turner Room – is suitable for between 20 to 60 people, depending on how the room is set up.
The Rawlings Room, which is our smaller meeting room, comfortably accommodates either 12 people in a boardroom style setup, or 35 people theatre style.

Facilities in these rooms include conference call equipment, projector and screen, flip-chart, laptop and video conference facilities.


Prices*

Rawlings Room (up to 35 people) £20 per hour, discounted half/full day rate available
Turner Room (up to 60 people) £40 per hour, discounted half/full day rate available

*Prices are indicative. Catering available at additional cost. Please contact us for a full quote.

Gallery

The Turner Room is the larger of the two rooms available for hire at the RPS Wales Office in Cardiff.


Find us


Get in touch for a quote (or pop by for a tour!)

Tel: 029 2073 0310
Email: wales@rpharms.com
Unit 2, Ashtree Court
Woodsy Close
Cardiff Gate Business Park
Cardiff
CF23 8RW

Supporting you locally: A look at the year ahead

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

by Jodie Williamson, Pharmacist and Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

We’ve had a busy year rolling out our RPS Wales local engagement model, bringing pharmacists together with our new local coordinators  to make sure we’re delivering the best support and networking opportunities for our members in Wales. Read on to find out more about our plans to support members locally, particularly how we’re going to helping everyone in Wales be Revalidation Ready!

 

Read more Supporting you locally: A look at the year ahead

Influencing policy and advocating for pharmacy in Wales

Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead, RPS Wales
Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead, RPS Wales

by Elen Jones, Practice and Policy Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

We’ve had a busy year working with colleagues in NHS Wales and Welsh Government to put pharmacy at the heart of future healthcare planning in Wales, as well as working on policies to improve patient outcomes.

 

Read more Influencing policy and advocating for pharmacy in Wales