Annual Review 2011

Annual Review 2011


President's message

Martin Astbury

Firstly I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those members of the Society who got involved in the research into the impact of the Responsible Pharmacist regulations and other key issues affecting pharmacists last year. The evidence gathered allows us to take work forward to try to achieve an open and just culture within pharmacy.

Pharmaceutical Press must be congratulated for continuing to work with the RPS to provide high-quality magazines, such as The Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist, as well as other important publications which healthcare professionals rely on.

The Society had been working hard in response to independent pharmacist prescriber concerns that they were unable to prescribe controlled drugs for patients. We were very pleased in April this year when the Home Office showed it had listened to and changed the regulations. This change means patients are now able to access these important medicines in a timely way and allows development of new innovative pathways to meet patients’ needs.

It is also encouraging to see, in the first year since the RPS became the professional leadership body, the increasing number of pharmacists who have appeared on both television and radio to give expert comment on issues related to medicines.

I am pleased with the work around Professional Empowerment, in which the English Pharmacy Board (EPB) has been taking the lead, which is wide ranging and includes the production of guidance for members and employers. It also aims to create an environment where whistleblowing about public interest issues becomes safer for individuals and is encouraged by employers.

I am also delighted by important work in Scotland where members implemented the Scottish Pharmacy Board’s (SPB) action plan on Medicines Safety and continued to develop guidance on best practice and best pharmaceutical care for patients.

I would also like to mention a reception which was held in June at the Scottish Parliament to ‘celebrate pharmacy’, which served to reinforce the messages laid out in the SPB’s Manifesto for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2011. For the first time, all the major political parties in Scotland recognised pharmacy and the role of pharmacists in their respective political manifestos.

In Wales, key stakeholders and patient groups were lobbied when the Welsh Pharmacy Board published its Medicines Safety Report.

There was also good interaction with the Welsh Assembly on a number of important pharmacy-related issues.

The Society in Wales supported the Welsh Government’s medicines management sub-group on non-medical prescribing and helped to develop a submission to the all Wales Medicines Strategy Group. It also supported the Diabetes UK Cymru all Wales public health campaign which ran through all community pharmacies in Wales.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to everyone who contributed to all the successes during the year.

From the Chief Executive

Helen Gordon

It is very encouraging to see the way in which pharmacists have endorsed the Royal Pharmaceutical Society so strongly during its first year as their professional leadership body, the evidence being the number of pharmacists who have chosen to be members.

In addition the RPS now has many thousands of Student members and an Associate category which is open to pre-registration trainee pharmacists and overseas colleagues. Our members also voted for a Pharmaceutical Scientist category which came on stream late in 2011. It has been a busy, but successful year, during which the Society has made its mark – but it was not without its challenges.

Pharmaceutical Press responded to changes in market conditions during the year which were significantly affected by the economic climate. Changes to customer needs caused content to move rapidly away from print and towards digital formats.

Pharmaceutical Press embraced this as an opportunity to reduce costs and implement new and efficient ways of working while ensuring that we maintain the quality of our products.

We are confident that we will continue to promote pharmacy by generating dynamic and world class science, technical and medical quality products and build our brands within Pharmaceutical Press.

Similar changes were seen across the Society to ensure a stableand sustainable future for the new RPS and publishing, with a morecustomer-focused product development strategy.

The 2011 loss for the period includes the one-off costs of re-engineering, the effect of which is reflected in a sustainable cost base for the 2012 year and beyond, with balanced budgets for the foreseeable future.

The process to improve internal efficiency and effectiveness is ongoing, with the executive team keeping control of the risks, and using relevant and reliable up-to-date information to make the necessary informed decisions, ensuring transparency continues.

We are proud to be the professional leadership body representing pharmacists across GB and abroad, and of what we have achieved in our first full year, providing, as we do, a stronger voice than ever within healthcare.

I share with the President the satisfaction we all feel with the work which has been done by members around Professional Empowerment, Medicines Safety and Public Health.

I am confident we are achieving our aim of ensuring that members feel supported by the Society in all areas of their professional lives
and at all stages of their careers.