Winter Wellness

Jodie Williamson MRPharmS, Pharmacist at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society
Jodie Williamson MRPharmS

by Jodie Williamson, Pharmacist and Professional Development and Engagement Lead at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales.

We often hear about the pressures facing the NHS during the winter months but did you know that there are steps that we can all take to stay well this Winter that can help to relieve this pressure?

Read more Winter Wellness

Patient safety first

By Robbie Turner, RPS Director for England

The publication of the first report by the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group is a welcome development which should be applauded.

Bringing together representatives of community pharmacies large and small they have demonstrated a real commitment to openness, transparency, and in learning from each other to improve the safety of the people they serve.

Transparency

The use of real life examples as part of the report has, unsurprisingly, led to a focus on the aspects that have gone wrong in the past rather than the work being done to prevent these happening again. This was always going to be a risk for the group but they took a decision that the real life examples helped to demonstrate why they have made some of the recommendations they have. I think this was a good and brave decision.

If we are to continue to improve the safety of services we provide as pharmacists it is essential that we are able to share our mistakes and discuss how we, as a profession, think they can be prevented from happening again.

The future

The work of the Community Pharmacy Patient Safety Group is an important step towards a safer future for our patients and the public.

To really deliver a future where pharmacists and their teams can be open and transparent when they make honest mistakes we need to remove the fear of being automatically criminalised for reporting dispensing errors.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society believes that the move to decriminalise single dispensing errors is long overdue and is lobbying hard to ensure this is delivered as soon as possible by the government.

Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

Photo - Liz Allen

by Liz Allen, Visiting Professor, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King’s College London and Quintiles, Early Clinical Development

What is a clinical trial?
Clinical trials are studies designed to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of potential new medicines. Clinical trials are divided into four phases (Phase I, II, III and real world late phase studies sometime called Phase IV).

Phase 1 requires a small number of subjects, usually healthy volunteers though more recently such studies involve small numbers of patients. As the development moves from phase to phase increasingly large numbers of patients become involved and the cost escalates. It is estimated that about 40% to 50% of drugs that enter phase III studies will fail, by which point a pharmaceutical company will have invested close to one billion pounds. Read more Adaptive clinical trials – could patients benefit?

Defining the role for pharmacy within person-centred care for vulnerable groups

Claire Anderson copy[1]By Claire Anderson, Vice Chair of the English Pharmacy Board for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

The health and strength of a society can be measured by how well it cares for its most vulnerable members, older people, those with mental health conditions, those with learning disabilities and children and young people. There remain large inequalities in the care, including pharmaceutical care, of these groups.

The NHS Five Year Forward View calls for greater integration of health and social care services and for care to be delivered closer to people’s homes. Pharmacists, working in the heart of the community, are ideally placed to work with other members of the multidisciplinary team to care for vulnerable people at home and in care homes.

Read more Defining the role for pharmacy within person-centred care for vulnerable groups

2015 in review: our LPFs

SPB Andrea Smith_jpgby Andrea Smith, National Clinical Lead SPSP-PPC and Scottish Pharmacy Board member

So as we approach the end of the year 2015, I turn to reflecting on what I have achieved both personally and professionally. I reached a milestone birthday in June, and while still trying to come to terms with reaching my “half century”, I’ve decided it’s not all bad. As many friends and colleagues know, I have a passion for travel and was delighted to tick-off several destinations on my bucket list this year – Singapore, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Istanbul to name but a few. Read more 2015 in review: our LPFs

Why CMS is the future for community pharmacy

Johnathan-Laird-CMS

By Johnathan Laird, MRPharmS, Pharmacy Manager from Turriff, Aberdeenshire and Scottish Finalist in the I Love My Pharmacist competition. You can follow Johnathan at @JohnathanLaird.

In my view, the chronic medication service (CMS) is a necessary step towards securing a future role for pharmacists within the community pharmacy setting.

There are two sides to CMS. There is the repeat supply of medicine via serial prescriptions, and the clinical side of the service in which community pharmacists provide pharmaceutical care for the patient. Both have merit. However, neither side has reached its full potential yet. Read more Why CMS is the future for community pharmacy

Assisted Suicide: Where do we stand?

Lara SeymourOn the 30th April, Scottish Government published its Stage 1 Report on the Assisted Suicide Bill. RPS Scotland was asked to give evidence for this report and we worked hard to ensure that pharmacists’ opinions were heard. As our members hold a range of ethical views, we recommended specific measures that would protect both patients and health professionals. You can read the full details here.

Earlier this month, Scotland’s Practice and Policy Lead, Aileen Bryson, chaired a debate on Assisted Suicide at Robert Gordon University. Student debaters wrangled over the ethical concerns for pharmacists if the Bill were to pass.  Lara Seymour MRPharmS, Group Leader of RGU’s Pharmacy Law and Ethics Society, reveals the conclusions they came to. Read more Assisted Suicide: Where do we stand?

Diary of a Pre-reg: supporting clinicians with research

Natalie WeirBy Natalie Weir ARPharmS, pre-registration pharmacist at the Southern General Hospital in Glasgow.

Early on in my degree I had an interest in neurology, and chose to do my dissertation investigating how a risk gene for schizophrenia impacted on neuroanatomical regions. As it housed the Institute of Neurosciences, I had ambitions to do my pre-registration year at the Southern General Hospital and was ecstatic when I was successful! Read more Diary of a Pre-reg: supporting clinicians with research

Diary of a Pre-Reg: How Research Changed the System

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset By Andrew Carruthers, Pre-registration  Hospital Pharmacist with NHS GGC

Within NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde,     pharmacists and nursing staff were concerned. The vancomycin guidelines, which required maintenance doses to be administered during the night, were leaving patients exhausted. Read more Diary of a Pre-Reg: How Research Changed the System

Yellow is the new black

Susan Huey 150x150Susan Huey, Clinical Pharmacist, Pre-registration Tutor and Yellow Card Champion for Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Have you completed a yellow card? Are you encouraging your patients to report any adverse side effects to any medicines they are taking? All of us can do our part to help ensure healthcare products are acceptably safe for patients. Read more Yellow is the new black