2014 – a busy year for pharmacy in Wales


by Jocelyn Parkes, Director, Royal Pharmaceutical Society in Wales

Hello, I would like to introduce myself as the new Director of the RPS in Wales. Some of you will know me already as I have been working as Principal Policy Advisor at the RPS for the last ten years. For the past few weeks, whilst the rain has whipped itself against the windows of the RPS Wales office, the Welsh Pharmacy Board and RPS Wales’s staff have been busy planning the work programme for the coming year and how, through our work, we can best support you as members.

In this first blog post of the year, I would like to share with you our plans for 2014. As for future blogs, I would be interested to hear your views. What topics and authors you would like to be covered in future blogs? Please email our Communications Officer, Kirsty.luff@rpharms.com  with any ideas, or record your views publicly below.

Vision for pharmacy
England has Now or Never  – shaping pharmacy in the future; Scotland has Prescription for Excellence. It’s time Wales had its own vision for pharmacy in the future.

This vision, we believe, should be focused on the needs of patients and informed by a number of guiding principles:

  • Safe supply of medicines
  • Access to pharmaceutical care
  • Shared decision making
  • Co-ordinated care
  • Promotion of health and well being.

In 2014 we will work with the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee and Cardiff University to agree the future vision for Wales.

Medicines safety
What’s more important than the safety of patients, when it comes to pharmacy? We want to keep this issue of patient safety at the forefront of the NHS and Welsh government agenda, so we have decided to hold a conference in the autumn to build on the themes of our conference last year.

Patient registration
At our 3rd Annual Medicines Safety Conference in November 2013, Professor Mark Drakeford AM, Minister for Health and Social Care, challenged the profession to come up with options for patient registration, ones that would demonstrate benefits for patients and improve pharmaceutical care. This is an opportunity but we need to get it right so we will be working with other pharmacy organisations to explore a number of models that will help deliver the vision for pharmacy.

Safety in care homes
We are raising awareness of medicines safety in care homes through talking to the Older People’s Commissioner, inputting into the Inquiry that is currently happening, and meeting with the Gwenda Thomas the Deputy Minister for Social Services.

Listening to members
Throughout the year, I promise to listen to what you are saying, and the issues that are important to you.  I cannot promise to put them right but I can promise to consider them and raise them  with the Welsh Pharmacy Board and RPS .

The views of our members are important to the team in Wales. What do you think about what we are working on? Is there anything else you think we should be working on? Please do contact us with your views at wales@rpharms.com.