Speaking after the recent meeting of the RPS English Pharmacy Board, Chair Sandra Gidley commented:
“RPS England have committed to publish recommendations around prescribing soon. Board members felt more pharmacists in all care settings must be enabled to become prescribers if we are to support the growing number of patients with long term conditions. Pharmacist prescribers must be fully integrated into patient pathways to improve the quality and safety of patient care and RPS England will support pharmacist system leaders to help deliver this throughout England.
“We will also be responding to the NHS Workforce consultation Facing the Facts, Shaping the Future – a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 under the premise that pharmacy and pharmacists are integral to the healthcare workforce and that development should be focussed across careers, not solely for jobs.
“We agreed that the RPS Careers Task and Finish Group’s current and future recommendations will be fundamental to the development of the pharmacy workforce and that all RPS professional development and workforce policies will be aligned to the FIP Pharmacy Workforce Development Goals. The RPS will be lobbying for resource to support the development of cross-nation workforce intelligence to inform workforce planning for the next decade and beyond.
“Our next campaign will focus on mental health. Many people with mental health problems experience poorer care than they should, and much of this relates to getting the right treatment. Our campaign is expected to highlight the vital role that pharmacists play in providing accessible services to support people’s mental health, not only to help people get the most from their medicines, but also around looking after their general health and wellbeing.
“With 1.8 million visits to pharmacies each day, pharmacists are ideally placed to help people get the support they need. Whether it is spotting early signs of dementia, managing long-term conditions, or improving communication with other clinicians and services across health and social care.
“I’d like to thank colleagues who responded to my call in October to get involved and help shape the campaign’s objectives and look forward to engaging with our members on this important issue in the coming year.”