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, by training and experience, a community practitioner. I am also extremely passionate about community pharmacy and the role that it plays alongside other sectors of practice in ensuring more diverse and inclusive delivery of healthcare to all that require it. We all have a role to play in ensuring that pharmacy is paramount in bringing joined-up NHS care closer to home, at the right time and in the most optimal care setting for the individual who requires it.
We should be proud of the fact that we are pharmacists. Each of us, in the numerous roles and sectors in which we practise and regardless of how long we have been qualified, can positively contribute to delivering a first-class healthcare system of which we can be proud.
I would like to see all pharmacists offered the opportunity to become independent prescribers by 2027, so that we are all aligned with those pharmacy graduates in 2027 who will, by virtue of their degree and training, be independent prescribers when they join the register. As time marches forward, there are more and more pharmacists becoming independent prescribers. This is a positive step in the right direction. It will help to secure the future of our profession by increasingly utilising our skills in clinical practice.
Independent prescribing needs to become an integral part of being a pharmacist, along with full read and write access to medical records so that we can use our unique skillset to benefit the patients for whom we care. For this to happen, we need this single vision, driven passionately by the RPS and a board which is creative in its thinking, but above all has the integrity to command the confidence of the membership so that this vision can become a reality.
If elected to the board, I will advocate fearlessly for us all to be given this opportunity to propel the profession forward for the benefit of the public.
Paul Summerfield, election candidate, English pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society