In England we delivered two hugely influential projects in 2013. Medicines Optimisation: helping patients to make the most of medicines was the first RPS document to be endorsed by NHS England and also by the RCGP, RCN and the ABPI. It has been widely used and quoted as a cornerstone to help develop understanding of medicines optimisation.
Our report into future models of care, Now or Never: Shaping Pharmacy for the Future, was launched at the House of Commons to a room packed full of health professionals, charities and politicians. This report has created huge interest within Westminster, policy circles and NHS England about the potential future roles of pharmacists.
The Scottish Pharmacy Board (SPB) provided comprehensive input into the Wilson and Barber Review of NHS Pharmaceutical Care of Patients in the Community. When the Scottish Government published its response, Prescription for Excellence: A Vision and Action Plan for NHS Pharmaceutical Care of Patients in Scotland, the SPB warmly welcomed the ambitions contained within the document. It has the potential to deliver many of the SPB’s aspirations for the profession in Scotland.
It also fulfilled the majority of the SPB’s manifesto intentions as submitted for the 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections. The SPB and Scottish Directorate will work closely with the Scottish Government and other stakeholders to deliver the ambitions contained within the vision to ensure that all pharmacists working in Scotland have an opportunity to contribute to this ambitious plan for improving the pharmaceutical care of patients.
The 3rd annual RPS Wales Medicines Safety Conference in Cardiff engaged key stakeholders and kept the issue of medicines safety at the forefront of the NHS and Welsh Government agendas.
Key speakers on the day included Mark Drakeford, AM, Minister for Health and Social Care and Roger Walker, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales.
The following themes came out of the day and gave us much to work towards in the year ahead. First, pharmacists need to play an important role in future health services to ensure patient safety. Second, strong professional leadership is needed within the pharmacy profession to achieve sustainable change, and third, pharmacists need to listen to patients, and reflect and act upon what they hear.