This is a campaign letter for the 2021 RPS national pharmacy board elections. The views expressed in this letter belong to the author. Find out more about the RPS elections.
I am standing as a candidate for the Scottish Pharmacy Board as I will make a valuable contribution to the proposed evolution of the profession in Scotland over the coming years. I believe my experience of leadership in many roles over the past 30 years, together with skills in clinical practice, education and research, will be valuable as a board member.
I am passionate about antimicrobial stewardship and supporting all pharmacists to contribute to protecting our antibiotics for future generations. Since my early years of hospital practice, I have had an interest in managing infections and rational use of antibiotics. In 2003, I became one of the first antimicrobial pharmacists in Scotland, then, in 2008, I was fortunate to secure my dream job as lead for the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG). During the past 12 years, I have worked hard to engage Scottish pharmacists across all sectors and pharmacy students in both schools of pharmacy in supporting antimicrobial stewardship. Collaborating with colleagues across the UK, Europe, and recently in Africa, I have helped to raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance and the need for stewardship. In Scotland, SAPG leadership has resulted in much progress in reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and optimising prescribing with examples of good practice from pharmacists across all sectors. The pandemic has shown the grave impact that infection can have, and while drug resistant infections are thankfully uncommon in the UK, we cannot be complacent; the World Health Organization has highlighted antimicrobial resistance as one of the top ten global public health threats.
My aim as a Scottish Pharmacy Board member will be to support RPS ambitions around managing common conditions in community pharmacy via extension of the Pharmacy First service, and working towards increased numbers of independent prescribers. I believe that community pharmacists are ideally placed to engage with, and support, patients and the public with advice on self-care, assessment of symptoms and treatment of common infections, enabling more equitable access to healthcare for disadvantaged people. Access to patient records and advances in digital technology will support this ambition. In due course, utilisation of scoring tools and point-of-care tests to support diagnosis of common urinary and respiratory infections will place pharmacists at the forefront of antibiotic stewardship in the community.
I hope you will vote for me to support development of the profession in this important area.
Jacqueline Sneddon, election candidate, Scottish pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society