The RPS in Wales presented key recommendations from our Palliative and End of Life care policy to the Welsh Government’s End of Life Delivery Board earlier this month, a vital step in the process of getting the improvements to care that the policy recommends implemented.
Presenting were RPS member and Consultant Pharmacist for Community Healthcare, Emyr Jones, Iwan Hughes, Public Affairs and Policy Executive for RPS Wales, and our Lead for our palliative care policy, Dr Karen Hodson. Together, they explained the instigators to the policy, outlined the strategic drivers that informed it, and gave an overview of the MDT and public engagement which fed into its development. She concluded with the key asks for the Delivery Board to prioritise in future, including the appointment of a named pharmacist in each health board in Wales for palliative and end of life services, and a national lead paediatric palliative care pharmacist for Wales. The board were also asked to support community pharmacists having access to the palliative care register and patients electronic health records, as well as pharmacists being fully integrated into the multi-disciplinary team.
After Karen had presented, several members of the Board spoke enthusiastically about the recommendations and the potential roles for pharmacists that had been outlined. Several members of the board heaped praise on the hospital pharmacists currently working in palliative and end of life care. They wholeheartedly agreed with our analysis that greater access to specialist pharmacists would be of huge benefits to local health boards working in secondary care and supporting primary care and community. They also felt that communication with community pharmacy needs to be improved and that Independent Prescribing skills of primary care pharmacists could also be better used.
Commenting on the presentation to the board, Karen said: “It was a really positive discussion, and we’re so pleased with the feedback that we’ve had from the board so far on our policy. At a later point in the year we will present them with data from the workforce and medicines supply data gathering that we’re undertaking, along with updates from meetings with various stakeholder groups we have planned over the summer.”
Between our engagement with the End of Life Board and our other activity, we’re hopeful that we’re on the way to making real change happen to maximize pharmacy’s contribution to palliative and end of life care in Wales.”
You can read our full policy Palliative and End of Life Care: Pharmacy's contribution to improved patient care at www.rpharms.com/improvingpalliativecare