Responsible Pharmacist impact research


The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Professional Forum of the Pharmaceutical Society Northern Ireland (PSNI) commissioned research into the impact of the Responsible Pharmacist regulations on pharmacy practice, to help inform future decisions earlier this year.

Both organisations strongly believed that it was the right time to gather evidence and take stock of the impact of the responsible pharmacist regulations on pharmacy practice. The findings will help support the Society’s response to the future consultation on supervision. The RPS and PSNI research will be used to identify whether further change to pharmacy practice is warranted to optimise the safe and effective pharmaceutical care.

We have now published the research findings, recommendations  and the Welsh Scottish and English boards of the Society have made an initial response.

We would like to know what you think – and have set up a thread on our virtual network so you can discuss this topic.

Discuss the impact of the Responsible Pharmacist regulation on our virtual network » 

Read what people are saying about the research

• Martin Astbury, RPS President »
• Anne McAlister, Chair of the Professional Forum »
• Helen Gordon, RPS Chief Executive
• Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England »

Martin Astbury, RPS President

“Public confidence in pharmacy is an invaluable asset which is linked to the strength of both the profession and the services we currently offer.  As pharmacists take on ever more clinical roles, including advising people to improve their health, and technological advances offer new models of working, it is vital that the interests of patients and the public remain foremost in our minds. Robust research is required to ensure that future proposals for changes to pharmacy practice, its regulation and the associated support and guidance are developed, based on best evidence. I have heard loud and clear what you have told me about responsible pharmacists and I give my personal assurance that we will act on the evidence we have found.”

Anne McAlister, Chair of the Professional Forum of the PSNI

“The recent and planned changes to the law around personal control and supervision respectively will require guidance on best practice, which the professional bodies, the RPS, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) and PSNI Professional Forum are well placed to offer, signposting existing models and developing the expert guidance for implementation. An evidence based approach is the best way to support individual practitioners in developing the skills and confidence to take on new responsibilities for the care and health of patients and the public.”

Helen Gordon, RPS Chief Executive
“The acid test for any legislative change is whether it changes the reality of practice – and if it does, that the changes are for the better. We have made a considerable investment in conducting this research, to get a good grasp of the current situation, the difficulties, the challenges and the opportunities. The research has created a new evidence base for the Society to consider and to inform any future changes required.  The research methodology is robust, reliable and by outsourcing to TNS – BRMB, truly independent. These facts give the results tremendous weight.”  

What do you think? Discuss on our virtual network »

Dr Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England

"I welcome this initiative undertaken by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland. Whilst the report raises some concerns, it also offers recommendations on the way forward. We will carefully consider these as we continue to work with the Societies, employers and the other pharmacy organisations to maximise the potential of the pharmacy workforce in supporting the health and wellbeing of patients and the public. I look forward to the discussions ahead."

What did the research achieve?

The RPS and professional forum of PSNI identified clear outcomes from this research:

  • A robust evidence base which describes the impact of the Responsible Pharmacist Regulations that can inform future changes, if required.
  • Influence and if necessary improve practice within the framework of the policy intention.
  • To show professional leadership on this agenda, for all pharmacists, the public and all other stakeholders

How was the research carried out?

Evaluation of the impact of the Responsible Pharmacist regulations research process