Annual review 2010

Pharmacists

 

President's message

Martin Astbury

Firstly let me thank every single pharmacist who has invested in their own future, and the profession’s future, by joining the new RPS. I am heartened that two thirds of pharmacists have already joined the Society, creating the biggest individual pharmacist membership organisation in Great Britain.

Pharmacists who have joined the new Society reflect the profile of the profession across all countries ofGB and all sectors of the profession. There is real strength in the number and diversity of pharmacists who have joined which gives the Society a unique mandate to act and speak on behalf of the entire profession.

Responsible Pharmacist and Supervision
Pharmacy practice across the UK continues to change with progress towards the provision of further patient focused clinical services. With a new GB wide professional regulator now in place, representatives of the four UK Government Health Departments, the pharmacy professional and regulatory bodies are beginning discussions on the likely changes required to the legislation underpinning the supervision of the dispensing, sale and supply of medicines. Since this will impact significantly on pharmacy it is important to ensure coherence and consistency for the profession and for pharmaceutical care delivered to the public and patients.

Patient safety must be at the centre of any changes to legislation. In parallel, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and professional forum of the  Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland have agreed to lead the gathering of evidence on the effectiveness of the Responsible Pharmacist regulations. This will help inform future decisions.

This new direction, of ensuring policy is based on evidence and ensuring that members are involved in its creation, epitomises the new Society. Every day we work with and through members, harnessing your expertise for consultation responses, making sure we link in with members when responding to national media and drawing members together, whether it is on expert panels or through local practice forums.

As I write we are close to 32,000 members and more are joining every day. Please be assured that I am very aware of the trust you have put in the Society to deliver on your objectives. Please look over the pages of this Review which acts as a short report of the priority projects we are currently undertaking
across Great Britain.

From the Chief Executive

Helen Gordon

2010 was the year that RPSGB became the new Royal Pharmaceutical Society, and this year’s Review reflects the fact that as a new organisation we are already able to report back on successes as well as letting you know what we are doing right now. As the President references above, the fact so many pharmacists have chosen to join the Society gives us a powerful mandate to speak and act on your behalf. Our new remit to act solely as a professional body is giving us access to the top tables of healthcare.

A recent national summit looking at prevention of venous thromboembolism in hospital saw pharmacists take their rightful place alongside nurses from the Royal College of Nursing and doctors from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges. Importantly, to make sure we got our message right, we reached into the
profession and worked with the expert pharmacists in this area, something which will continue to define the way we work in future.

Through our three country boards we are now able to respond to health policy and influence its creation. Witness the fact that the major political parties in Scotland and Wales have all included pharmacy policies in their recent manifestos. That means we have an agenda to work with whoever forms a government. In England we’ve raised the profile of pharmacy services at the heart of Parliament. Across Great Britain decriminalisation of dispensing errors continues to be a priority for us.

As a contribution to both the resources of the Society and a way of enhancing the reputation of GB pharmacy internationally, our publishing division Pharmaceutical Press is continuing to grow useful products. New products launched for 2011, such as the BNF based “Formulary Complete”, will help pharmacists, doctors and nurses where ever they live and work. It has struck me that publishing essential resources for the NHS is an area worth highlighting as part of our wide range of services.

I hope this year’s Review will begin to define your perception of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in its new guise as the professional body for pharmacists. The 2010 Review reflects that new approach by focusing on the projects and areas members have told us are important. Whether it’s creating an environment
that empowers pharmacists to do the most for their patients or ensuring information management and technology works for the profession not against it, we are very much working to your agenda delivering on your ambitions – making Great Britain a safer place for patients to take medicines.