The joint June meeting of the RPS national Pharmacy Boards involved wide ranging discussions about the profession. Key issues covered included medicines and sustainability, the expanding role of pharmacist independent prescribers, a continued focus on inclusion and wellbeing, and a new digital service for members for professional networking and future work on genomics and personalised medicine. We were delighted to be joined by all our new board members elected from across Great Britain. Read more here about elections of board chairs, vice-chairs and assembly members.
Chair of RPS in Scotland Andrew Carruthers said:
“One year on from launching our Inclusion and Diversity strategy the national boards reflected on the excellent work already done and discussed some of the areas still to be addressed. Inclusion and diversity affects everyone, and by focusing on one key area at a time, for example Pride month, it creates a more inclusive profession for everyone. Socio-economic status and the impact of rurality were also discussed and how these can become compounding factors for some. The board members for each national board showed a commitment to the inclusion and diversity strategy by signing the RPS Pledge for Inclusion and Wellbeing during the meeting, and will work to spread this pledge across their networks.”
Chair of RPS in England Thorrun Govind said: “It was great to have such engaging and stimulating discussions on the future of pharmacist independent prescribing at the National Pharmacy Board’s meeting. It reminded us how far the profession has come in this field across GB and served to highlight areas where further work is needed. As we recover from the pandemic it is clear that actions are now needed on a number of fronts to create the right environment and support for pharmacist prescribers to thrive. Issues discussed by the Boards that require careful attention include education, designated medical and prescribing practitioners, ongoing peer support, mechanisms for governance and support, and an assessment of capacity and resources. This is a big programme of work but I feel confident that our focus on IP will accelerate change for pharmacist prescribing across England, Scotland and Wales.”
Chair of RPS in Wales Cheryl Way said: “My board colleagues and I were enthused by the clear opportunities and benefits the RPS Connect digital networking service will bring members. The ability to connect and engage with colleagues locally, across Great Britain and even internationally, in a safe space for professional use is a great development. RPS Connect will also enable members to ask questions, share best practice, influence policy development and keep up to date. Professional isolation is a big issue for many pharmacists, as well as finding it difficult to connect with others who may be undertaking more specialised areas of practice or developing similar services to themselves. It was reassuring to hear that RPS will combine RPS Connect with continuing to support face-to-face events for pharmacists at a local level, when it’s safe to do. We’re thrilled that this piece of work is developing at such a rapid pace and we look forward to testing it in the early Autumn.”