By Amandeep Doll, RPS Regional Liaison Pharmacist
The NHS landscape is always changing and it can be difficult to know where to start for pharmacists who want to get involved in their local health and care systems.
You may have recently heard a lot about ‘systems’ in healthcare – but what are they really about? In short, they mean working collaboratively across health and social care boundaries to improve patient and public outcomes.
The systems in England which plan, organise and deliver health and care services are called Integrated Care Systems (ICS), Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) and Primary Care Networks (PCNs). The NHS Long Term Plan will be delivered through these systems, which will work in collaboration with existing commissioning, secondary care providers and local authorities.
Pharmacists must be part of these structures at leadership level to ensure the future success of the profession at every level of practice. Our impact in systems is maximised when we integrate with the wider health and social care team.
The challenge for pharmacists is to deliver system-wide medicines optimisation, creating a collective sense of responsibility across different areas of pharmacy, organisations and individuals. This has the potential to dramatically improve population health.
To do this, pharmacists must be formally recognised by these systems and a framework established to support pharmacy integration and build a collaborative approach.
But where on earth do you start? If you’re keen to get involved, we can help you explore leadership opportunities within healthcare.
We can help
Our brand new online tool A systems approach to medicines optimisation and pharmacy will help you navigate the opportunities for pharmacy service development and medicines optimisation within local health and care systems.
It identifies six ways you can support effective system leadership and is packed full of practical advice to encourage collaborative working. It also provides checklists of the resources, standards and guidance needed to build knowledge and skills, along with case studies of how pharmacists have improved medicines optimisation and patient care.
A systems approach to medicines optimisation and pharmacy is part of our support for members working to improve medicines optimisation. I really hope that other pharmacists will contribute their experiences and share good practice in this rapidly changing environment. We need to see what works and what doesn’t so we can all learn to lead better.
Why not submit your own leadership case study?
Related resource: Medicines Optimisation