Robbie Turner, new RPS England Director, was welcomed to the Board and received a mandate to pursue three strategic themes over the coming year. The Board thanked interim Director for England, Dr Catherine Duggan for her dedication and hard work over the last six months.
Setting out his three priorities Robbie said:
"For those that know me it will not be a surprise that improving local engagement with our members is one of my stated priorities for the team in England. Harnessing the potential of local intelligence and local influence to drive change that improves care of patients through better use of pharmacists is a real passion for me. I know we need to do more to make sure members feel part of the work of the RPS, and that this in turn will make our work more effective. Secondly, I am keen to continue the work of focused and influential RPS led campaigns, that have proved successful in recent years; although working with our members at a local level will become more integral to this work. Lastly, the opportunity for RPS to use our influence at the highest level in the NHS and Government has never been more important, making sure warm words of support are translated into concrete actions that benefit pharmacists and patients alike."
At the same meeting, the English Pharmacy Board agreed new priority topics that will form the basis of new campaigns for the RPS in England in future. These will be antimicrobial resistance, mental health and diabetes.
Commenting, Sandra Gidley RPS England Board Chair said:
"By focusing our resources on priorities where pharmacists can make a real difference we have seen great success. Our focus on ensuring all pharmacists have access to patient care records, as well as creating new roles for pharmacists in care homes and GP surgeries, have contributed to pharmacists being able to have access to the Summary Care Record. Campaigns have also facilitated the creation of hundreds of new jobs in GP surgeries for pharmacists. This year we will be turning our attention to how pharmacists can improve diabetes care, building on our long term conditions campaign of 2016. We will also be looking at the role of pharmacists in mental health and seeing what more the profession can do to reduce antimicrobial resistance. All of these topics are deserving of our attention but more importantly I believe there will be mutual benefits for patients and the profession. Our first step will be to reach out into the RPS membership to learn what is already happening in the profession and build this into our plans. All of these topics match to government priorities and we will be making the case for full use to be made of pharmacists’ expertise."