RPS response to Lord Carter Review

10 Feb 2016
Royal Pharmaceutical Society response to Operational productivity and performance in English NHS acute hospitals: Unwarranted variations. An independent report for the Department of Health by Lord Carter of Coles.
Commenting on the report Sandra Gidley, RPS English Pharmacy Board Chair said:
“There is much for hospital pharmacists to consider in this report. At its heart is an assertion that makes clear that the role of hospital pharmacists is intrinsic to the delivery of value from the £6.7bn the NHS spends on medicines in hospitals. A statement of fact as well as a testament to the expertise and skills of hospital pharmacists. 
"There is also clear recognition of the vital governance and clinical leadership that hospital chief pharmacists provide now, and that this will be even more important in future. Enabling chief pharmacists to make recommendations within their NHS Trust to improve care will need access to high quality comparative data to allow the spread of best practice.
"We agree completely that increased input from hospital pharmacists, working in teams with doctors, nurses and all other health care professionals, will improve patient outcomes, reduce waste, improve prescribing decisions and reduce avoidable harm. We support the increased role of hospital pharmacists within clinical teams, and see much merit in learning from the best and applying this across all NHS Trusts. 
"For pharmacists working in procurement, manufacturing, dispensing and other roles labelled as “infrastructure” in this report, there will naturally be concern that this report describes the potential for outsourcing as well as local national and regional collaborative models to reduce costs and drive efficiency.  Balanced against this the report recognises the importance of the so-called "infrastructure" functions and there is a clear message of investment in clinical, patient facing hospital pharmacists, significantly this is recommended in all NHS Trusts.
Hospital Pharmacy Transformation Programme
"We are pleased that Lord Carter has recognised the need for a programme to support NHS Trusts in developing their hospital pharmacy service. This programme needs to be properly resourced and take into account the significant work required. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society will play its part through supporting and developing pharmacists to deliver enhanced patient care."