"Extremely positive" LPF event in Parliament gains cross party interest

12 Jan 2016

An event on Wednesday, 6th January provided London pharmacists with an opportunity to engage with their MP and explain why read/write access to the electronic patient record is so important. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s London Central Local Practice Forum hosted an event in Parliament, supported by all London LPFs and RPS staff. The successful event attracted key MPs and over 150 delegates were attracted to the event. Expert speakers presented a compelling case to politicians, insightful discussion to a packed room.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society launched its most recent campaign, pharmacist access to the patient health record, at the end of September as part of the Shaping Pharmacy For the Future programme. The RPS has been working with key political stakeholders for 18 months and the campaign has received strong interest and support from the All Party Pharmacy Group, Diabetes UK, the Royal College of General Practice and Parkinson’s UK.

Speakers at this event included Sir Kevin Barron MP, Chair of the All Party Pharmacy Group, Mohammed Hussain of NHS England, Harpreet Shergill of the Health and Social Care Information Centre, and Sandra Gidley, English Pharmacy Board Chair. The patient perspective was given by Annie Caulfield, and the audience heard from Dr James Cavanagh, GP and commissioner, on how to effect change in their local area.

Charles Willis, Head of Public Affairs commented “I was delighted to see such great interest from MPs from the main Westminster political parties, and to see pharmacists engaging with their constituency MPs – having their voice heard.”

“It’s clear to see that RPS engagement with Westminster and Whitehall is having a positive effect and the views of pharmacists are being taken into account as MPs form their views.”

(L-R: Rt Hon Sir Kevin Barron MP, Rt Hon Gisela Stuart MP, Zafar Khan (Lead, London Central LPF), Sandra Gidley (EPB Chair), Victoria Borwick MP, Stephen Hammond MP)

Local Engagement Lead, Alice Dartnell speaking on behalf of all the RPS local pharmacy forums present said “I was excited and inspired to witness the high attendance of RPS members and non-members supporting each other at a local level and collaborating across 6 LPF areas. “

“They were all united in a shared vision of promoting to MPs how the RPS and the whole pharmacy profession can improve patient care if access to the full electronic record can be achieved”

“The feedback from attendees has been extremely positive and I look forward to more of the RPS’s LPFs working together on such an important campaign in the future.”

Many attendees were avid Twitter users, and the hashtag for the campaign, #RPSrecords, appeared in the top 40 trending Twitter feeds in the UK during the event. You can view a Storify of the event here to see some of the highlights.