Community Pharmacy Forward View

Sandra Gidley 3By Sandra Gidley, Chair of the RPS English Pharmacy Board

You may know about the NHS Five Year Forward View, published in 2014, which outlined the future of the NHS in a world where people are living longer with complex health needs.

The Community Pharmacy Forward View, published today, aims to provide a sense of direction and vision for community pharmacy aligned with the ambitions of the NHS. Read more Community Pharmacy Forward View

Ask the RPS : What makes a good community pharmacist?

Hayley Berry, RPS Community Advocate and Community Pharmacist

Through not only my years of experience as a pharmacist but also through a most recent role as RPS Community Advocate, I’ve been able to recognise some of the key skills needed for a career in community.
Read more Ask the RPS : What makes a good community pharmacist?

Making the most of your opportunities for a career in community pharmacy!

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Sarah Murphy, University of Central Lancashire, 4th year student

Throughout my time at university, I’ve made sure I stand out to potential employers through my experience within community pharmacy. Here’s a few tips on how you can do the same.
Read more Making the most of your opportunities for a career in community pharmacy!

A Community summer placement at Boots pharmacy

Olamiji Odeoljamibiyi, pharmacy student.

Competition for placements among pharmacy students is tough. I knew at the back of my mind that I needed to stand out from the crowd, therefore making use of my summer break and applying for a placement was a must. Read more A Community summer placement at Boots pharmacy

Supporting rural communities with palliative care

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Gill Harrington MRPharmS, Palliative Care Community Pharmacist from Strome Ferry, near Skye.

In 2012, NHS Highland set out to explore a new service model piloting the development of a full-time Macmillan Rural Palliative Care Pharmacist Practitioner. The aims were to develop community pharmacy to support the needs of palliative patients, improve service provision, develop training and peer support opportunities and provide quality information to support practice. I was appointed in February 2013 and have been on a steep learning curve to enhance my knowledge of palliative care issues, along with defining areas for development within the project. Read more Supporting rural communities with palliative care

Ask the RPS: A guide to preparing your Pre-Reg CV and cover letter

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Every month for our student newsletter ‘Get Involved!’, we’re asking a member of staff at the RPS to give their hints and tips on our topic of the month. For our October edition we’re looking at providing guidance to students when preparing their CV and cover letter to enhance career opportunities in an ever increasing competitive market. We ask Daniel Sutcliffe, Pharmacy Engagement Officer at the RPS and recently qualified pharmacist, his top tips for standing out from the crowd when applying for those all-important Pre-Registration placements. Read more Ask the RPS: A guide to preparing your Pre-Reg CV and cover letter

How can pharmacists and GPs work better together?

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Howard Duff, Director for England, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

The English Pharmacy Board of the RPS and National Association of Primary Care want to create a debate about how community pharmacy and general practice can work better together in the interest of patients. The RPS will be ensuring that royal colleges and patients have a say in this, but I also really want to hear the views of pharmacists. No doubt the organisations representing owners and contractors will be involved but what about the voice of those who actually do the work? Read more How can pharmacists and GPs work better together?

How can community pharmacy and general practice work better together?

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By Howard Duff, Director for England, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Both professions operate under nationally arranged contracts which seem to be looking to achieve two different outcomes. There are many good reasons why pharmacy has benefited from this national approach and we believe that some things must remain nationally organised. However the NHS is different place today than it was when the Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework was introduced many years ago.

The Five Year Forward View (FYFV) presents both the case for change and a blueprint for its trajectory. It signposts the way forward and as a profession we must “go with the flow” and not “swim against the tide”. By that I mean that the FYFV describes ways that changes will be supported to happen in the NHS. These are locally driven and they are expected to be initiated and taken forward by local leaders. We need those local leaders in pharmacy to step up and make this change happen in a way that includes the role of pharmacists. I believe that this will both improve patient care and also help to make the NHS more efficient. If we are not alert to the local change agenda then I fear that pharmacy will be left behind.

The mechanisms for change that can include community pharmacy are the multispeciality community providers, primary and acute care systems and better care for patients in care homes. These have been well documented in the press and they provide plenty of scope for community pharmacy involvement. Ah yes but it’s hard, I can hear people saying, we tried to get involved but this was an issue or that was too problematic. Or we were described in the vanguard bid but it’s proving hard to get through the co-commissioning issues to get the service off the ground. I understand all of these things and I must praise those who have managed to overcome the barriers and put community pharmacy onto the FYFV map.

This is not right though is it? Neither is it good enough. We are the third largest healthcare profession, we manage over £8 billion worth of NHS investment in medicines and yet it seems unbelievably difficult for us to help out the struggling NHS and help provide excellent patient care. The RPS English Pharmacy Board wants to facilitate making the inclusion of pharmacist-led care through community pharmacy easier. We want to promote it to other professions, patients and importantly commissioners. We need your help and support to do this – so respond to our consultation and tell us how you think patient care can be improved.

You can take part in our consultation through the RPS website. Read the ‘improving patient care through better general practice and community pharmacy integration’ consultation document and respond with your comments using the consultation form.

Howard Duff, Director for England, The Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

Follow: @HowardDuff

Prudent healthcare – what it means for pharmacists

26.06.14Royal Pharmaceutical SocietyMair Davies, FFRPS, FRPharmS, Chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society

‘Prudent healthcare’ is a phrase frequently used by politicians and healthcare leaders across Wales but what does prudent healthcare mean and what are the implications for pharmacists and the people of Wales?

Read more Prudent healthcare – what it means for pharmacists

From idea to practice at the RPS Annual Conference

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by Dr Terry Maguire, Honorary RPS Member, Owner Maguire Pharmacy, Belfast, and stream chair at the RPS Annual Conference 2015

Everyone has great ideas. Problems and frustrations stimulate us to come up with innovative solutions and better ways of doing things and it is generally the ideas of practitioners – those working at the coal face and who really understand the systems – which are more likely to be effective solutions. Read more From idea to practice at the RPS Annual Conference