Commenting on RPS work with the King's Fund to develop a vision for pharmacy practice in England, Chair of the English Pharmacy Board Thorrun Govind said:
"It's been fantastic to see the response to this work so far, which explores the role of pharmacists and pharmacy teams in providing patient care and NHS services and what this might look like over the next ten years.
"As the Government and NHS in England look ahead to supporting the recovery from the pandemic, we know there are further opportunities to use pharmacists’ clinical skills to improve patient care and reduce health inequalities.
"While Covid-19 put added strain on teams, we also saw positive examples of new ways of working and how pharmacists want to focus on putting patients first – which is at the heart of what we do.
"We now want to build on this and consider as part of this project how pharmacists working across the system can help support the increasingly complex health needs of people and improve patient outcomes.
"We have already had some really positive discussions with the profession to help shape this vision, covering key issues such as:
- How pharmacists can support patient access to care.
- Supporting patient safety and helping people get the most from their medicines.
- How pharmacists can help meet patient need such as around earlier diagnosis, long-term conditions, or mental health.
- Workforce planning and different approaches to enabling pharmacists to work across care settings.
- The future role of pharmacist independent prescribers.
"We also know there are lots of things which need to happen to help maximise the contribution of pharmacy teams, such supporting a strong voice for pharmacy within new Integrated Care Systems, investing in education and training, rolling out read/write access to patient records, and sustainable funding.
"Throughout all these changes, we must ensure that the workforce gets the support it needs, so we can keep looking after patients.
"If you missed the introductory webinar and want to find out more about the Vision, you can watch it again online.
"There will be lots more opportunities to help shape this work, including a consultation in the summer, and we want to hear from as many people as we can. Whether you work in pharmacy or elsewhere, are studying, starting out in your career, or retired, everyone can help make a contribution.
"The next webinar is scheduled for 27 June at 7.00pm and I would really encourage you to join the discussion. If you have other ideas, case studies or questions, you can also contact me and the team at [email protected]."