How pharmacists can help people with learning disabilities

by Robbie Turner, RPS Director for England

Pharmacy teams in community, primary care and acute hospital settings see many people with learning disabilities.

You may not have attached that label to an individual, but you know that you need to use easy words and short sentences for this person, or take longer to show them how to take their medicines. You will know the people who have complex repeat prescriptions – or you will recognise the family member or support worker who hurries in to collect their medicines.

Pharmacists and their teams need to consider how to best communicate with this diverse group and make what are known as ‘reasonable adjustments’ under the Equality Act 2010 to ensure equality of access to pharmacy services.

to help them feel confident in engaging with this diverse group and gives examples of reasonable adjustments. Read more How pharmacists can help people with learning disabilities

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

My cyber-attack week

By Sibby Buckle, RPS English Pharmacy Board

What a week this has been!  On Friday 12 May 2017, IT systems in 47 NHS trusts in England and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland came under attack from a global malicious software attack. Here’s the latest from NHS Digital.

I work in a community pharmacy in Nottingham and first became aware of a problem when the systems of local GP surgeries and hospitals went down.  Over the weekend in the face of the cyber attack, our pharmacy and countless others continued to do what we always do, delivering fantastic patient care, giving advice and dispensing patients medicines in a timely, safe and efficient manner.

Returning to work on the Monday morning, I was bombarded with messages from my dispensing colleagues. The surgeries had been on the phone first thing to confirm that their systems were still down, and even their faxes weren’t working. Read more My cyber-attack week

Strategies for the Summer Exams

Student summer examsby Sabina Rai

The summer exams are almost here, which can be a daunting experience. For me, this is something I can relate to from my first year at the University.

Many aspects of the University are often new to a first year student. For me, it included approaching the exams and the revision. Finding the right learning and organisational strategies that worked for me was a big struggle. Both this and the lack of preparation meant I was very much behind with my revision. As a result of this, the pressure of revision and performing well in the exams increased to more than I had anticipated. However despite the pressure, I was determined to perform well in the exams and I made sure I gave my best till the very end of the last exam. Read more Strategies for the Summer Exams

The 15th Joint Qualified Person Symposium

Robert Smith PictureThe Joint Qualified Person Symposium is themed “The QP in a new world”. It is the 15th Symposium to be held by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry.

As a QP, I’m looking forward to attending the upcoming QP Symposium in May 2017. I attended the last symposium in 2015 and I found it a great day for networking with so many QP colleagues and to find out that we all share a lot of common issues and hear how these issues had been dealt with.

This year, I’m particularly looking forward to the sessions run by the MHRA on Annex 16 and serialisation. I’m hoping that we shall hear some real life examples as to the issues the MHRA are seeing with implementation of this recently updated annex.

As the industry gears up for serialisation, it will be particularly interesting to hear about checking packs into databases and what expectations there will be on the QP to verify the data has been properly uploaded.

I am also very interested in the MHRA enforcement group talk. As QPs, we have a great deal of interaction with the inspectorate but very little interaction with the enforcement group. As a pharmacist, I see this as important work. It will be interesting to find out what they do, how it’s done and as QPs, how we may be able to help in the fight to crack down on the illegal trade in pharmaceuticals that have the potential harm to our patients.

Finally, as a speaker at the symposium, I hope you will learn something from my presentation on Transitioning from Traditional Dosage Forms to Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products. When I first started working on these products, they were very much seen as the future of treating disease and illness but there were not that many products in research and development and there was little regulatory framework in place. Now we have a regulatory framework and there are quite a few ATMPs showing great promise in the clinic, and there are some products on the market. However, as a practicing QP there is still very little training out there for a QP who wants to transition to these products. The aim of my talk is to show you how I made the transition from releasing traditional dosage forms to ATMPs and hopefully encourage some QPs to embark on a similar journey.

I look forward to meeting you at the symposium.

Robert Smith BSc (Hons), MSc, PgDip, MRPharmS
Director, Smiro Qualitas Ltd

The Joint QP Symposium will be held on 17 May 2017 at Mary Ward House, London WC1. View a full programme of speakers and book online here.

Make the most of your placement

marias-photoI would have never believed it if someone had told me that come my 2nd year of studying Pharmacy I would be working at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s publishing body, Pharmaceutical Press (PhP). Their logo was everywhere, from my lecture slides to reference books, which is what made the interview so surreal – I was sitting in a room, meeting the editor of one of the major pharmaceutical publications, the Martindale. It was overwhelming; I was at the heart of where the most treasured publications are created. Read more Make the most of your placement

Faculty eight week fast track plan – my experience

faculty-eight-week-blogAmareen Kamboh MRPharmS PGDipGPP PGCertClinEd FHEA – Senior Teaching Fellow, and programme lead for the JPB postgraduate diploma at the Centre for Inter-Professional Postgraduate Education and Training (CIPPET) at the University of Reading. Education and Training Lead Pharmacist, Educational Programme Director for pre-registration pharmacists at Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Contemplation
For a while I have been contemplating starting my Faculty application for professional recognition of advance practice to validate my experience post-registration as an education and training lead pharmacist. Once my development has been recognised post-nominals will be granted that signify my stage in practice. This provides a means of demonstrating to patients, the public and my employer, that I have achieved a designated level, thus providing evidence of capability as a professional.

Read more Faculty eight week fast track plan – my experience

Is ibuprofen bad for your health?

Helen Williams 2by Helen Williams, consultant pharmacist in cardiovascular medicine

A new BMJ study published today examines the effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like ibuprofen on the heart.  The study looked at 10 million people and found taking NSAIDs increased the risk of being taken to hospital with heart failure by 19%.   Sounds frightening doesn’t it?  And it led to some alarming headlines stories in the media. Read more Is ibuprofen bad for your health?

Back to Uni – A Survival Guide

IanIt’s not long now until you start or return to Uni. Looking forward to getting back to those early starts and hard work? Possibly not, especially after enjoying a few well-deserved months off or maybe you’ve been working hard over summer? The transition back can be a challenging one. This guide, by Ian Towle at University of Strathclyde, may help you get back into the swing. Read more Back to Uni – A Survival Guide