Why the Scottish Seminar is necessary for change

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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 Scotland, change is a word that has resonated politically in recent months and years. Whatever side of the political spectrum you find yourself on the one thing that is probable is that your level of engagement is greater than before.

If you have not already heard, in Scotland we have a vision for pharmacy called Prescription for Excellence. This is a vision for pharmacy that puts a firm emphasis on professional innovation and partnership to deliver the best possible pharmaceutical care for patients.

The plan is broad and stretching for all sectors to achieve but I do see parallels with our recent referendum and the associated high levels of engagement. Pharmacists in Scotland, I believe, are on the move.

As we begin to stretch our collective professional legs, there has never been a more important time to work within our professional body. You cannot go it alone. The safest place to innovate and build partnerships is from within our professional body.

The Scottish Seminar being run by the RPS in Scotland this weekend in Stirling provides that very opportunity.

With a packed programme on both Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd August, there is much to looking forward to at the seminar.

There will be a focus on professional development on Saturday, with specific sessions and workshops on the Foundation and Faculty programmes. Given our collective professional journey through Prescription for Excellence, this support has never been more important.  The key theme here is that pharmacists will be there to help other pharmacists. This is underlined by the attendance of many Faculty members and RPS Fellows alongside students, pre-regs and pharmacists of various levels of experience across all pharmacy sectors. Collaboration and partnership working are key themes to the seminar. I always find it interesting to explore and discover the roles of pharmacists in a different sectors.

Sunday offers many interesting workshops including patient safety, dispensing errors, research in practice, minor ailments, substance misuse, workforce and telehealth. The highlight for me will be to hear our new Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Rose Marie Parr present her thoughts. She is the keynote speaker on the Sunday and I believe this is the first time she has addressed the professional body in her new role.

The future of pharmacy in Scotland is not yet set. The voice of the member based Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Scotland is only strong if its members combine and share talent and expertise.

The seminar in Stirling is a wonderful chance to do this and maybe meet some new friends along the way.

The Scottish National Seminar, ‘Pharmacy Working Together to Advance Quality in Practice’, is being held the 22nd – 23rd August at the Stirling Court Hotel – check it out here. You can follow the seminar on Twitter with #RPSScot15.

Find out more about Johnathan and the I Love My Pharmacist competition here.

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