As a hospital pharmacist specialising in education, training and development, my particular area of interest is in workforce development. My vision for the future of pharmacy over the next five years is for pharmacy to be fully integrated in the health care system across patient pathways from cradle to grave. This requires a sustainable, capable, adaptable, responsive and flexible (SCARF) workforce. Pharmacists to be recognised as medicines experts and scientific professionals. This is a very challenging vision which has the potential to transform the future of pharmacy. There are many obstacles on the way, not least the professional development of all pharmacists post registration.
The RPS professional development frameworks, the Foundation and Faculty frameworks, are currently underutilised, so it is important to note that, at the chief pharmaceutical officer’s annual conference in March 2018, it was announced that foundation training should be supported for all early-years pharmacists. While in hospital pharmacy it is common practice, this is not necessarily the case in community pharmacy. Upskilling of the community pharmacy workforce will require a change in approach to professional development for many pharmacists. This can only be a positive thing for the profession as it will embed important skills and knowledge, while newly qualified pharmacists are getting to grips with what being a pharmacist means. I am currently working with a newly qualified industrial pharmacist through his foundation programme as his tutor to identify the utility of the foundation framework for industrial pharmacists. It is important that the framework is able to be used by all pharmacists.
Being a member of the RPS Faculty is a huge honour and recognition of one’s career development, and I was disappointed that the English Board did not agree that all Board members should be Faculty members or, at the very least, be on the Faculty journey. This just goes to show that there is still some work to be done by the RPS, including Board members, to lead by example and promote our jewel in the crown.
Without a workforce that continues to develop as the healthcare system evolves we, as a profession, run the risk of being left behind. Now that pharmacy has a higher profile than ever before, this is our time to be at the forefront of healthcare. Patients and the public want nothing less than a highly skilled medicines expert looking after their needs.
Aamer Safdar, England
This is a campaign pledge for the 2018 RPS National Pharmacy Board elections.
Voting opens on 30 April 2018, and closes on 18 May 2018.
For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/RPSNPB2018