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 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 Robbie Turner, RPS Director for Pharmacy and Member Experience
Pharmacy is a very diverse profession, especially in terms of gender and ethnicity. As your professional body, we want to recognise, celebrate and encourage a variety of voices and experiences across pharmacy to better represent you.
The diversity we see is not necessarily represented at senior and leadership level though. Things could be better, and as an organisation we recognise we could also do more in this space.
Pharmacists often work in isolation, and especially in the case of community pharmacy, may often be the only healthcare professional on the premises. It can be hard to bring your authentic self to work when your environment means you don’t feel comfortable expressing who you are. When we don’t bring our whole selves to work we can suffer – in terms of our wellbeing and our work.
We are about to go out to the profession as a whole to get your views on how inclusion and diversity can be improved and celebrated. There will be opportunities to engage with us on this to make sure that our strategy is truly created hand in hand with you.
We’ll be launching a survey at the end of the month as a starter. It’s incredibly important that as many of you as possible complete it – it’s your chance to be in at the start and ensure you inform what we do, both in the short and longer term.
I’m convinced this programme is the right way forward for the profession, as is everyone at the RPS. Who you truly are matters. We want you to feel able to bring your whole self to work and experience a sense of belonging. I hope you join us on this journey.
I have no doubt that the success of
forthcoming integration across systems and sectors is going to be determined by
the strength of personal relationships between stakeholders. Human beings crave
connection with others above all else and the strength and authenticity of
these connections will influence partnership working.
These connections cannot be formed ‘on demand’. Sometimes people meet and immediately recognise a ‘soul mate’, personal or professional, but this is rare. And even then, we have to hope that the first flush of exhilaration for a strong new connection settles into something enduring and mutually enriching.
I was recently a guest of Greater Manchester LPC at the NPA Conference in Manchester, and a thread about relationships became apparent across a number of presentations. Ed Waller from NHSE highlighted the importance of developing relationships and collaborative networks to enable community pharmacy to play its optimum role in PCNs. Simon Dukes from PSNC reflected on why partnerships fail, including lack of trust, stalemate, and the perceived power of one party over the other.
Later, Rose Marie Parr, Chief
Pharmacist in the Scottish Government, countered that good relationships are
built upon a shared vision, effective leadership and trust. Russell Goodway
from Community Pharmacy Wales spoke of delivering a shared ambition through a
willing partnership, and our own Paul Bennett spoke of unprecedented co-operation
among representative bodies through aligning on the major issues facing
Focus on what’s real
I think it is time to reflect on the strongest connections and most enduring, authentic relationships that each pharmacist has made – without exploiting them but focusing on mutual benefit. An obvious source of many enduring connections for pharmacy is with patients. How can pharmacists really tune into those connections to find out what is most relevant and valuable to their local population? Is that not the foundation on which our ‘offer’ to the local health system must be based? How, can we then share this common vision and facilitate strategic change at local level? NHSE is sending a strong message through PSNC that a ‘tsunami’ of separate pharmacy approaches to PCNs will not be welcomed. What is needed is a coordinated effort from contractors within each locality.
Make use of support
We should also reflect on wider support from the pharmacy system that we can draw upon. From connections with colleagues in local hospitals, and our ‘academic hubs’ in our Schools of Pharmacy. Reminding us who we are, where we have been, and where we are going – not least with what we have to offer to the health system of our understanding of new medicines and new science. For those who already have strong and enduring relationships with multidisciplinary partners in primary care and beyond, try to anticipate the turbulence that they must also be experiencing and consider how you can help them to achieve shared objectives for your community.
So let’s take stock now of our best
and most enduring connections, and pool our knowledge to make maximum impact
when the time is right.
Our new resource on system leadership helps point the way. It includes case studies from pharmacists working in different levels of the system and links to tools, standards and guides to develop the leadership qualities required to work collaboratively across boundaries within your local health and care systems.
By Philip Newland-Jones and Anna Hodgkinson, Consultant Pharmacists in Diabetes
People with diabetes need the support of a full multidisciplinary team more than ever, and utilising pharmacists trained in diabetes care are an essential part of this vision.
Statistics from Diabetes UK show that one person is diagnosed
with Type 2 diabetes every three minutes in England and Wales, and 500 people
with diabetes die prematurely every week.
It is estimated that the NHS currently spends 10% or £10 billion of its annual budget on diabetes
and its complications.
We know that
over 65 year olds with Type 2 diabetes have on average six to seven other
health concerns, often needing multiple medicines. Both the Long Term
Plan and the NHS Interim People Plan recognise the value and impact pharmacists
can have to improve outcomes for people living with long term conditions,
including diabetes. This paper outlines a clear vision for pharmacy and the need
for the NHS to utilise pharmacists alongside other healthcare professionals
across all care settings to improve the care of people with Type 2 diabetes.
In the past, pharmacists have held a more traditional but key role in the management of diabetes, including being an integral part of improving medicines safety and supporting medicines optimisation. Over the past few years, recognising the skills and positive impact on care pharmacists can have both with individuals and at a population health level, we have seen a change in mindset. Increased numbers of pharmacists are now working in diabetes and Consultant Pharmacist posts have been developed. Although this is a start, as highly trained and skilled professionals, we know we can do morewhether this is at a GP practice, care home, a community pharmacy, hospital, or Integrated Care System level.
The direction of travel for pharmacy in the management of
Type 2 diabetes is clear. We have a huge role to play alongside our healthcare
professional colleagues in improving outcomes for people with Type 2 diabetes,
after all supporting people with diabetes needs the full multidisciplinary team
more than ever.
We are excited for the opportunities that the RPS policy document, The Long Term Plan and NHS Interim People Plan will bring for pharmacy and we look forward to working with the profession over the coming days, months and years to promote and support the role of pharmacists within all care settings to improve outcomes for people living with Type 2 diabetes.
It is important to note that pharmacists cannot do this
alone, we need the right environment for development, the support and mentoring
from colleagues with experience in diabetes care such as practice nurses,
diabetes specialist nurses, GP’s, specialist dietitians, podiatrists. The only way we are going to be able to
effectively tackle diabetes across all care sectors is to ensure this seamless
teamworking and collaboration is encouraged and cultivated.
If you are a healthcare professional working in diabetes in any sector of the NHS, think if your team would benefit from the support of a pharmacist, and if you work with a pharmacist embrace and support their development to ensure they are the best they can be for your team and your patients.
Although my type 2 diabetes was diagnosed more than 12 years ago, it is only in the last 15 months that I have been medicated. Prior to that, I had controlled it through diet and exercise.
On collecting my first prescription for metformin, the pharmacist went to great pains to explain that I should take one tablet each morning and a second tablet each evening on a regular basis and to contact them immediately if I suffered any ill-effects after taking them. We also discussed dietary factors and the need for regular exercise.
The pharmacist then phoned me the following day, on the third day and after one week, to again check that I was taking the medication as prescribed, not suffering any ill-effects and had no questions about the medication. One month later, when I collected my next prescription, the pharmacist again checked that I was following the instructions and had not suffered any ill-effects as a result of taking metformin.
For the next 12 months I collected my prescription on a regular basis until at the annual renewal the pharmacist asked that I had a consultation with him. He then asked if I was taking the metformin as prescribed, not suffering any side effects and was following dietary advice and taking regular exercise. He also asked me to confirm that my feet were being checked by my diabetic nurse and that I received an annual check for diabetic retinopathy. I as able to confirm that it was the case with both.
In my opinion I have received excellent service from my local pharmacy and am most impressed at the level of care that I have received.
by Professor Mahendra G. Patel, Diabetes Lead, English Pharmacy Board
Today we’ve published our new policy ‘Using pharmacists to help improve care for people with Type 2 Diabetes’. Aimed at policy makers and service commissioners within the NHS in England, it calls for pharmacists in various care settings to be fully integrated into services for those with Type 2 diabetes. This makes way for increased prevention, earlier detection, and better access to diabetes care tailored to individual needs.
More than five million people in the UK are expected to have Type 2 diabetes by 2025. This is a national challenge in terms of poor health outcomes, economic burden to the NHS, and ever-widening health inequalities largely driven by factors such as ethnicity and deprivation. Each year within hospitals, there are thousands of patients with diabetes experiencing medication errors that could be avoided.
Significant numbers of people are failing to meet the nationally recommended treatment targets in reducing risk of complications associated with type 2 diabetes. Many are not understanding their condition nor adhering to prescribed treatment. In my opinion, this is a critical time to make more effective use of the extensive clinical skills of the pharmacist.
The NHS Long Term Plan recognises the vital role of
pharmacists and their clinical skills in supporting patients to achieve better
health outcomes, improving patient safety and reducing medication errors. The recent
establishment of new Primary Care Networks and the growing maturity of local Integrated
Care Systems, together provide unparalleled opportunities for people to receive
better access to their pharmacists, more personalised support, and joined-up
care at the right time in the optimal care setting.
In line with new and emerging roles for pharmacists and
advancing practice, and at a time when technology is set to command a pivotal
role in healthcare, our new policy
on diabetes builds on our previous national campaigns.
It translates the latest evidence into practice,
focusing on helping people to live longer and lead healthier lives whilst
ensuring effective and safe use of medicines. It further highlights the need to
support services within and across different care settings, where pharmacists
can make significant and meaningful differences in improving health outcomes.
It also shows how pharmacists, who are integrated
within a specialist diabetes multidisciplinary team, can provide added value and
synergy across care pathways as routine daily practice.
Professor Sir David Haslam, Chair of NICE, one of the many organisations supporting our policy states, ‘Diabetes is a public health emergency’. We will continue to press these recommendations to progress this crucial national work.
by Gareth Kitson, RPS Professional Development and Engagement Lead
Like everyone, my professional identity is informed by my personal life. Achieving that identity has at times been a struggle and is always a work in progress. It’s something I have learned to take pride in.
As I have progressed through my career, I’ve realised that identifying as a gay man is a bigger part of my identity than I once thought.
I have had countless conversations with colleagues about what it is like to be a gay man living in London. I’ve spoken about how I have faced prejudice and discrimination because of my sexual identity. I have highlighted the changes in sexual health provision and how HIV is no longer associated with the falling tombstone of the 1980s. I’ve updated people on how PrEP is transforming the prevention agenda for men who have sex with men.
Being a pharmacist is a huge part of my identity and my sexual identity is too. It often intertwines with other aspects of my personality, including my professional life. If I feel accepted and safe in my working environment, I’m more creative, better engaged and form stronger working relationships.
This is why I’m really proud that the RPS is walking in the Pride in London Parade in 2019.
This is the first time we’ve done something like this. I’m proud that my professional body recognises both my professional and personal identity. Members of staff and members of RPS will be walking in the Parade on July 6th – if you see us, give us a wave! #wearepharmacy.
By Gareth Kitson, RPS Professional Development and Engagement Lead
I had known for a long time that I was gay but had never had to acknowledge it. I never engaged with the LGBT+ community at Uni as I had a ready-made group of friends. I wasn’t confident enough to engage with members of the community as I felt I had to behave in a certain way. After moving to London I was pushed into the one of the most vibrant and diverse communities in the world and wasn’t ready for the effect it would have on me.
Every aspect of the LGBT+ community had “tribes” or
“communities” and I really struggled to find my place. I also found it really hard to make friends
outside of a dating environment. Most
gay men will tell you the same story – insecurity, isolation and the struggle
to “fit in”.
In July 2012 I was out shopping on Oxford Street and accidentally stumbled on the Pride in London Parade. I felt overwhelmed, curious and confused as to what was happening. I stopped and watched the entire Parade pass by and spent the rest of the day reflecting on what I had just seen.
For the first time, I suddenly felt that I wasn’t
alone. I suddenly realised that there
were other people living in the same city as me who identified as a member of
the LGBT+ community. There were
opportunities to meet people who may have gone through the same experiences as
you, be it coming to terms with your own identity or coming out to your family
This one day showed me that people from all backgrounds can
stand next to each other and be proud of who they are. That families can gather and show their
children that it is OK for a man to love a man and that some of their friends
may have two mummies instead of a mummy and a daddy.
It was heart-warming, confidence-boosting and empowering when I finally realised that I wasn’t alone. That I could live my life as I wanted, being true to who I really was, in the city I now called home. That’s why Pride matters.
Members of staff and members of the RPS will be walking in the Parade on 6th July. If you see us, give us a wave #wearepharmacy.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is the dedicated professional body for pharmacists and pharmacy in England, Scotland and Wales.
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