Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services: Background
Here you will find background information on the Standards, including why they were updated in 2022, what was updated, how they were updated, who was involved and who endorsed it.
You will also find the literature review that underpinned the refresh.
First published: 11 November 2022
- Why the Standards were updated
- Summary of changes made to the Standards
- How the Standards were updated
- Development process and timeline
- Literature review
- Who updated the Standards – acknowledgements
- Who endorsed the Standards
Since 2012, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has published professional standards for NHS and independent (private) sector pharmacy services in hospital, mental health, private, community service, prison, hospice, and ambulance settings. They apply whether services are provided internally or outsourced.
A key function of a professional leadership body is to provide professional standards that are supportive and enabling, but professionally challenging.
There is a clear requirement for providers of pharmacy services to use them to improve and develop services that are safe and put the needs of people first. Professional standards are consistent with and complement relevant legal framework requirements as well as the minimum standards currently required by systems regulators, professional regulators, and insurers and may be used to help inform them.
Whilst they are not mandatory, they are developed and owned by the profession, and set out what constitutes ‘good’ in terms of practice, systems of care, and working practices.
2. Why the Standards were updated
This refresh of the Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services was triggered automatically from the review date of the 2017 version of the Standards.
Since the 2017 Standards, there have been various changes which needed to be included in the refresh which include:
- An increasing drive towards integrated care
- Being more agile in how services are provided
- Utilising the whole workforce and technology
- New initial education and training standards for pharmacists.
Due to the current healthcare climate and rapid changes occurring, a decision was made that these Standards should be considered for review again in 2024.
3. Summary of changes made to the Standards
There have been improvements and amends to the 2022 Standards, including:
- Overview of changes to the Standards
- Deleting supporting statements where duplication was apparent
- Adding new statements or modifying existing supporting statements to include omissions identified through the literature review
- Restructuring some of the supporting statement where additions became apparent as the Standards were updated
- Light editing for clarity, brevity, or consistency of terminology
- Addition of new descriptors – research and wellbeing.
Overview of changes
For details of changes made in comparison to the 2017 Standards, please see our Hospital Standards Refresh Comparison to 2017.
4. How the Standards were updated
The review involved initial strategic support and engagement with the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group (HEAG). They concluded the 2017 Standards were broadly fit for purpose, based on a literature review and extensive use of the framework in practice, and confirmed the need for an update and refresh. An external task and finish group with representation from across GB was set up to guide the refresh process.
The task and finish group contained representatives from:
- Regional Chief Pharmacists
- Chief Pharmacists
- Clinical Fellows
- Professional organisations
- Lay representatives.
These were from across England, Scotland and Wales. The group was chaired by Rob Duncombe and all members of the task and finish group were asked t declare conflicts of interest which were managed in line with RPS policy.
The review timelines are listed below.