What’s it like to be a guest at a meeting of the Welsh Pharmacy Board?

At our recent Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting, RPS members Nia Sainsbury, Medicines Information Pharmacist from Bridgend, and Boots Pharmacist Simon Taylor, came along to observe the open business proceedings.
We caught up quickly with them to see what they’d made of the experience.

Nia Sainsbury and Simon Taylor
Nia Sainsbury and Simon Taylor

Can you tell us why you decided to come along to the Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting today?

NIA – What motivated me and engaged me to come today is having been involved with the palliative and end of life care policy. So that made me think about what other things are RPS Wales engaged with at the moment. Coming here today I’ve seen that it’s lots of different issues that are being looked at, and how RPS Wales can lead on those issues, like the really interesting presentation we had on advanced therapies.

What have been your main takeaway messages from attending today?

SIMON – I think the enormity of the scale they (the WPB) have to consider each issue with. It’s like they’re looking into the future, how far they have to consider the impact of the decisions they’re making will have. So you don’t appreciate that from the outside always, seeing how much they have to consider, how many different roles there are in there. The other things that people do there, not necessarily in terms of different agendas, but actually there is a lot of representation from different bodies in there.

What would you say are the benefits of pharmacists being able to attend board meetings?

NIA – I very strongly believe that all pharmacists should be members of the RPS, and open board meetings are one of the many things we can do to engage all pharmacists and show them the benefits of membership. When you see the policies, the Palliative Care Policy for instance, being brought out and actually the changes that creates, it’s really useful.

What’s been your overall impression of the Welsh Pharmacy Board?

SIMON – The impact of decisions that are made there have quite wide-reaching effects, so taking everything into consideration from the pharmacy point of view, the health point of view, the public point of view, everyone’s kind of representing that, giving a nice rounded opinion in that decision making process. In terms of the decision-making process, it’s clear they’re not going to miss things.

Would you recommend attending board meetings to other RPS members?

NIA – Yes absolutely!

SIMON – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, there were only 3 guest observers there which was a little bit daunting at first, but perhaps there can be more (members attending) added to that in future. Coming in as an observer as well, we were given an opportunity to get our opinions across, which I think is really important, from whatever place we’re representing, whether hospital, community or education. That’s important I think, to put that opportunity out there so members can contribute.

The next meeting of the Welsh Pharmacy Board will take place in September. If you’d like to attend, just drop us an email at Wales@rpharms.com to reserve your place.

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