Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

Maree ToddArticle by Maree Todd MSP, highlighting the issues of patients with hypertension as part of Hypertension Awareness Month and the important role pharmacists play in supporting them. Before becoming an MSP in 2016, Maree was a pharmacist at New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital in Inverness.

This week I held a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark world Hypertension month.

I was pleased to be able to highlight the condition as a pharmacist turned parliamentarian, particularly since I am co-convenor of the cross-party group on heart and stroke. I wanted to remind everyone that this condition can be diagnosed with a very simple test, and it’s easy to treat. Around 30% of adults in Scotland have high blood pressure. It’s very common indeed. So why do we need to raise awareness about it? Read more Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

How pharmacy can raise public awareness of health issues

by Tricia Armstrong

Community pharmacists have historically been the most accessible healthcare professionals and have successfully taken part in many public health campaigns, such as stop smoking services. In recent years the role of the pharmacist has become more diverse with pharmacists offering more services, such as flu vaccinations. Patients are looking for convenience and accessibility and pharmacists often meet these needs by providing services in the evenings and at weekends. In an article by Anderson and Thornley (2012), the authors discuss the reasons why patients, who are entitled to free NHS flu vaccinations, are prepared to pay for vaccinations because the service is more easily accessible in pharmacies. Read more How pharmacy can raise public awareness of health issues

Why NICE accreditation matters

 

We chat to Dr Mahendra Patel FRPharmS, FHEA Fellow of NICE, Vice-Chair Accreditation Committee NICE 2017 and RPS English Pharmacy Board Member about the true value of NICE accreditation and what it means to our members.

“First of all, my heartiest and proudest congratulations to everyone at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), and most importantly to the staff involved in seeing this rigorous process to successful completion with diligence and commitment.

This is very prominently a noticeable mark of international recognition, and what I firmly believe to be gold standard accreditation for the RPS with its processes for developing professional guidance and standards.

This is without doubt a remarkable achievement for the RPS.  To add further context, our process now sits proudly alongside highly credible and hugely respected organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) , the British National Formulary BNF) , various Royal Colleges (Physicians, Surgeons, Pathologists, Paediatrics & Child Health, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Anaesthetists), and with some of the world renowned giants in guidance production, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), and of course NICE itself. These have all been successfully approved over the years.

As pharmacists we are all scientists, and through research we are able to develop the evidence and translate into practice. Through using trusted and reliable evidence-based guidelines, pharmacists can be well supported in their daily practice to help improve patient outcomes.

RPS members can now be assured of accessing reliable and trusted sources of guidance that have been developed using critically evaluated high quality processes through the RPS. This also means that as the RPS develop new standards, and revise and update existing standards, they will also be permitted to apply the NICE accreditation badge to those (as long as the NICE accredited process manual is followed).

I was pleased to introduce the NICE Accreditation Chair and Programme Director to the English Pharmacy Board Meeting back in 2014, and to highlight to the Board the importance of the RPS in seeking gold standard accreditation by NICE.

Today, I am absolutely delighted that the RPS is now badged with the NICE kite mark.

Finally, the Accreditation programme no longer accept new applications from organisations as of September 2016 but continue to review renewals. In that sense this has been a landmark journey for me both personally and professionally.

I have enjoyed a truly informative and inspiring relation with NICE as a long standing member of its Accreditation Advisory Committee since 2009 and later as its Vice-Chair.”

Read more about the NICE accreditation.

How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

Jonathan Burton

Today is World Health Day, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. The theme of this year’s day is depression. We want to use this as an opportunity to highlight the important role that pharmacists can play in identifying and supporting people with depression. Today’s article has been written by community pharmacist Jonathan Burton and gives an insight into the ways a pharmacist can help tackle the stigma of depression.

By Jonathan Burton

I work in a community pharmacy which serves a large university student population. Depressive illness is one of the most common conditions I see in my day to day practice and there is much I can do as a pharmacist to help this young adult patient group. Read more How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

Johnathan Laird: My first year on the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board

Johnathan LairdJohnathan Laird is a member of the Scottish Pharmacy Board. One year ago, he was elected at the Board and today he is sharing his experience of being part of a team of great pharmacy professionals. Here is what Johnathan had to say in his own words…  

My relationship with the RPS has been rather patchy over the years. Like many, I cynically questioned the value of the organisation.

How naive I was. Yet another error in the course of my career.

Just over two years ago I made a decision to come out of my shell and get involved. This was the best decision of my career so far.

Read more Johnathan Laird: My first year on the RPS Scottish Pharmacy Board

The inspiring women of pharmacy

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International Women’s day celebrates the milestone achievements and the history of women, spreading awareness about their social, economic, cultural and political achievements, it also encourages a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

To mark this day, we chat to Hannah Batchelor, BSc, PhD, Director of Research for Pharmacy at the University of Birmingham about her current role, challenges and successes as a female in her profession and more importantly how to #BeBoldForChange. Read more The inspiring women of pharmacy

Life as a consultant cancer pharmacist

steve williamson

Pharmacy has an important role to play regarding new and existing cancer treatments, we chat to Consultant Cancer Pharmacist and Chair of British Oncology Pharmacy Association, Steve Williamson MRPharmS (IPresc), MSc who explains his area of work in more detail.

What was your first contact with pharmacy as a profession?

When I was 16 I visited my local Hospital where my mum worked as an ITU nurse and met the clinical pharmacist who worked on her unit, after talking to him I decided that I wanted to be a hospital pharmacist. Read more Life as a consultant cancer pharmacist

Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!

Dr Jacqueline Sneddonby Dr Jacqueline Sneddon, Project Lead for Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group, part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland

Dr Jacqueline Sneddon highlights opportunities for community pharmacy teams in Scotland to support European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) 2016 and contribute to the fight against antimicrobial resistance. Read more Help to stop antimicrobial resistance!

Community Innovators – Jay Badenhorst

Jay 150Part of our series on Inspirational Community Innovators

Jay Badenhorst is a community pharmacist that started his career in South Africa. He moved to the UK in 2001 and soon after that decided to stay permanently. He is passionate about pharmacy and the potential that community pharmacy can play in the health and wellbeing of patients.

He once said “In order to be a great leader you don’t need an official title. Whether you’re a pharmacy manager, assistant or technician, you can achieve great things.” He believes that it takes a multifaceted approach to ensuring patients’ best interests are always kept at heart in community pharmacy. Every team members brings a valuable contribution to ensuring every contact counts. He believes it is up to employers to ensure that the professional development of all team members in the pharmacy is ongoing, including investing time into the development of newly qualified pharmacists. Read more Community Innovators – Jay Badenhorst

Explaining the new cannabis bill

charles blogBy Charles Willis, Head of Public Affairs for RPS

You may have noticed over the past few weeks that the Liberal Democrats are returning to an issue close to many of their hearts; reforming the drug laws. This week in Parliament, Norman Lamb brought a 10 minute rule bill seeking to legalise and regulate cannabis in the UK. But how did we get here?

Going into the 2015 General Election, Nick Clegg committed the Party to decriminalisation for possession of drugs for personal use, and Norman Lamb made drug reform part of his Party leadership bid. However, the key precursor to this Bill was set at the recent Lib Dem Spring Conference, where the members debated a motion that would for the first time commit the Party to full legalisation and regulation.

Read more Explaining the new cannabis bill