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Chief Pharmacists welcome Wales palliative care proposals

The RPS in Wales has submitted proposals to the All Wales Chief Pharmacists Group around the implementation of recommendations made in our recent policy on pharmacy’s role in palliative and end of life care.

The RPS in Wales has submitted proposals to the All Wales Chief Pharmacists Group around the implementation of recommendations made in our recent policy on pharmacy’s role in palliative and end of life care. Several proposals were submitted at the Chief Pharmacists Group meeting, focusing on workforce development and community pharmacy’s role in this area of care.

On workforce, we suggested the introduction of a new, consistent workforce model based on structured interviews with pharmacists involved in palliative care, other members of the palliative care team and carers. Following the patient’s journey, the proposed model would allow patients to benefit from the skills of pharmacists across all sectors. The model will include a lead pharmacist for the Health Board who would work at a leadership level at local and national level. The post holder would work across sectors to co-ordinate care and would be a point of contact for all pharmacists and colleagues on palliative care medicines issues. The chief pharmacists were overwhelmighly positive about this model and agreed to work with their local teams to explore incorporating it into their Integrated Medium Term Plans.

On community pharmacy, it was agreed that the sector is extremely well placed to support patients with palliative conditions and their carers. Our policy highlighted that there are barriers preventing community pharmacists to support patients, such as that that they are not routinely informed that their patients are diagnosed with a palliative condition. The group agreed with our recommendation that a working group be established to consider community pharmacy’s role in palliative care, with a focus on access to the palliative care register and/or advanced care plans, the need to improve access to medicines for these patients and identify relevant  training needs.

Commenting on the meeting, Interim policy lead Dr Karen Hodson stated “We were pleased that the Chief Pharmacists recognised the important work that the profession currently does to support patients requiring palliative care and agreed with our proposals. Coming out of the meeting we have clear actions and momentum to hopefully develop pharmacy's role even further over the coming months and years”.

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