by Thorrun Govind, Chair of RPS in England
I am delighted to see the publication of our exciting new Vision for Pharmacy Professional Practice in England in partnership with The King’s Fund. This wide-ranging report sets out a future vision for how pharmacy teams can support better patient care and help address key challenges facing the nation’s health.
We have been engaging widely with the pharmacy profession and beyond to help shape and inform the vision over the last six months. A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our consultation events and contributed to the report, including pharmacy teams, patient groups, and health and care leaders.
Whether it is steps to reduce health inequalities, new advances in medicine such as pharmacogenomics, or the importance of data and research to improve patient care, it was great to hear everyone’s views on the future of pharmacy practice. There was a real sense of excitement about what the vision could mean for enhanced patient care.
But we also heard about the challenges that teams are facing right now, with significant workforce pressures and increased demands on health and social care services. The Covid-19 pandemic put a strain on everyone. All health and social care professionals, including pharmacy teams, had to adapt to the demands placed upon them and strive to find new ways of working to benefit patients and the public.
The healthcare service needs to re-build for now and for the future, addressing the health inequalities exposed by the pandemic, and the capacity and demand challenges that the NHS faces. We think that pharmacy teams can increasingly play a key role.
Pharmacy teams are already more integrated within multidisciplinary teams across all sectors, now is the time to step up the pace and scale of this integration, to ensure that all members of the pharmacy team are using their skills and knowledge to the maximum for the benefit of people across the breadth of England.
As pharmacy professional practice evolves, there are not only exciting new roles for the pharmacists and pharmacy technicians of tomorrow, but opportunities to be embraced today.
The vison for pharmacy professional practice also includes both goals and measures to help bring about the change that is needed. We are grateful to everyone who has contributed their time and expertise to help shape this vision and want to work across pharmacy and with other professions and the wider health and social care system to make it a reality.
Please take a look at the report and share your views with us. If you’re already involved in a great project that’s improving patient care please tell us all about it. We want to work with you and partners across pharmacy, the NHS and government to maximise the potential of our extraordinary and amazing workforce. Get in touch with the team at [email protected] and help us put these plans into action.