Opportunities in community pharmacy

By Valerie Sillito, Community Pharmacist

When I qualified , a long long time ago…. pharmacy was all about supply i.e. making powders, compounding creams by the kg, hand filling capsules and many other arcane activities. If a local GP actually asked me for my opinion I was more likely to have a heart attack, never mind come up with a useful suggestion. Of course the BNF only ran to about a 100 pages and the drug shelves were relatively empty (we didn’t have a drug database as this was the handwriting era!).

So, if you were to ask me then what the opportunities in the future might be I suspect it would have been a very limited list.

Now community pharmacy has come on in such leaps and bounds I hardly recognise myself. To name but a few activities: supply of EHC, NRT, treating UTIs and Chlamydia, CPUS (community pharmacy urgent supply) substance misuse services, flu vaccinations, medication reviews, warfarin clinics and those are just the ones under PGDs (patient group directives). Many pharmacies now also offer private services, i.e. the patient has to pay up front, for travel vaccinations, HPV and meningitis B vaccinations, erectile dysfunction and hair loss treatment to name but a few and a very recent innovation has been a sore throat service with treatment if required.

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General Congress

77th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Medicines and beyond! The soul of pharmacy
Seoul, Republic of Korea | 10-14 September 2017

The 2017 FIP congress in Seoul, South Korea, invites an international audience of pharmacy professionals and pharmaceutical scientists to go beyond medicines and answer patients’ demand for high quality help and advice.

At this year’s congress, the professional symposia will explore the many new ways that pharmacy professionals can add the value expected by modern healthcare systems and services. Sessions will show that tradition and dedication to patients’ health – the true soul of pharmacy – can be coupled with innovation in technology, education and practice to deliver care fit for the 21st century. Join us and meet pharmacists from over 100 countries. More information can be found here.

Discover new research and evaluation skills!

Marianna Liaskou, MRPharmS, Research Administrator, Research and Evaluation (R&E), Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

I passed my pre-reg exam in June 2016 and registered as a pharmacist a couple of months later. During my MPharm I developed an interest in research and in particular during my pre-reg I identified the challenges some pharmacists face in continuing using their research skills. So, I thought I’d explore the Research field and soon booked a Research Advice Surgery. The session was really helpful and I immediately wished I could work with the R&E team! That’s when I came across the Research Admin vacancy and didn’t hesitate to apply. I’m very glad I did because it’s turned out to be a great opportunity!

I’ve been privileged to be able to work with the team developing a new resource: the Research Evidence & Evaluation Toolkit (REET). It’s currently on its Beta version but it already has a lot to offer. I’ve been having a play with it to test its functionality and I have already found a few research skills I need to work on! Basically, it’s an online platform with examples of research skills and activities; these are under various skillsets like ‘Research education and training’, ‘Communication and dissemination of research’ etc.

At the moment, the project has completed the Phase 1 Pilot and the team is processing the feedback from this in order to produce a more useful and operational REET, which will be tested in Phase 2 (coming up soon!). I’m actually really looking forward to the next phase as it will bring more functionality – and purpose – to the toolkit. The main addition is that the research skill, and activity examples, will have resources and conferences signposted to in order to allow the users to take action when they identify areas that they need to develop.

As a Foundation Pharmacist, I’ve found the REET useful because it introduced to me activities and skills that I hadn’t realised were research related. Plus, I was able to use this for my CPD and Foundation Cluster 3 (Research and Evaluation) portfolio entries. Due to the amount of data on REET, it has even more to offer for my (future) faculty journey.

So why don’t you have a go at it too? You might discover new research and evaluation skills! If you think this might be a good resource for you, drop the RPS R&E team an email at practice.research@rpharms.com, we would love to hear from you!