RPS in England publishes ten-year vision for pharmacy

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has today published ‘A vision for pharmacy professional practice’ in partnership with The King’s Fund, which outlines key ambitions for the future of pharmacy in England over the next decade.

The Vision sets out how pharmacy teams can support better patient care and address key challenges facing the nation’s health. It calls for the complete integration of pharmacy professionals across health and care systems to enable a transformation in patient care, supported by a comprehensive pharmacy workforce strategy, improved use of data and research to drive better patient outcomes, and strong skilful leadership and collaboration to inform professional practice.

The Vision was developed through extensive consultation with pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, patients and the wider healthcare system. It was supported by an advisory group of health and care leaders, chaired independently by Richard Murray, Chief Executive at The King’s Fund.

Chair for RPS in England Thorrun Govind said:

“There are so many opportunities for pharmacy teams to provide better support to patients and the public to prevent ill health, improve health and reduce health inequalities. Implementation of the vision will unlock the potential of pharmacy across the hospital sector, general practice, community pharmacy, industry and academia.

“Integrated Care Systems will be crucial to making this happen, enabling the integration of pharmacy with the wider health and care system at a scale which could make a real difference for patients. We want this vision to help drive collaboration, delivering the changes that need to happen now and overcoming barriers to maximise the potential of pharmacy to improve patient care in the future.

“Realising pharmacy’s potential will depend on a whole-system approach to collaboration and I look forward to working with pharmacy colleagues, the NHS and stakeholders to create partnerships that can help make this vision a reality.”

Chief Executive of The King’s Fund Richard Murray said:

“The intense pressure on health and care services, the move towards more joined-up care, and the experience of adapting at pace during the pandemic all create an opportunity to think afresh about pharmacy professional practise in England.

“As set out in this Vision, there is significant potential for pharmacy teams to deliver person-centred care that enhances patient experience and access to care. Realising that potential will rest on developing the pharmacy profession, utilising data to personalise care, and pharmacy leaders taking a collaborative approach to leadership as they increasingly work across health and care systems. The Vision sets out an exciting future for pharmacy; now the hard work of making a reality must begin.”

Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England David Webb said:

“Health and care in England are undergoing significant changes that will impact on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians now and in the future.

“It is a welcome development that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has published a vision to promote and support the highest standards of professional practice and quality of patient care.

“Effective and authoritative professional leadership and appropriate structures for collaboration will help us make a real difference to the future for the pharmacy professions and to the health outcomes for patients and local communities.”

Vice-President of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK Nicola Stockmann said:

“APTUK are pleased to have collaborated with the Kings Fund and the RPS on the 'Vision for England'. The vision has been created with the intention of reducing health inequalities, widening access to new and developing pharmacy services and championing the ever-expanding remit and scope of autonomous practice for registered pharmacy professionals."

Professor Aruna Garcea, Chair of Primary Care Network Advisory Group, NHS Confederation, said:

“As a network, our vision is for primary care to be valued, well-resourced and empowered to drive innovation, improve population health and reduce health inequalities. We are passionate about the role pharmacy colleagues play in realising this vision and are ambitious about embedding their role within wider primary care. 

“The task we now have is to support stakeholders to implement this plan. Myself, and everyone within NHS Confederation’s Primary Care Network, are looking forward to working with our partners in the health and social care sector to fulfil the potential laid out in this report.”

The theme of The vision for pharmacy practice in England is collaboration and we welcome feedback and help with implementing the key themes. Get in touch via [email protected].

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