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.
My name is Sarah Sawieres and I am standing for election for the RPS English Pharmacy Board. Although I was born in England, my background is Egyptian. As a female working in secondary care, I have always endeavoured to ensure my role and the opportunities I have been given are directly proportional to how hard I have worked. I hope that my influence on the RPS English Pharmacy Board will encourage diversity within the profession and inspire others to strive for opportunities regardless of ethnicity, gender or background. I am a firm believer of being the change you want to see and, with that in mind, I want to be the change I hope for in both my workplace and within the profession.
Hospital pharmacist representation on the RPS board has been scarce. I hope to change that! I am an ambitious person who sees the roles of pharmacists expanding outside the traditional expectations. I have been exposed to opinions that pharmacists should “stick to doing drug histories” or “ensuring prescriptions are filled” by other healthcare professionals. Although these are core elements of the pharmacy team, pharmacists should be able to carry out a vast number of roles in the care pathway. This includes, but is not limited to, viral screening in the community, cholesterol monitoring, COVID-19 testing, vaccine administration and groundbreaking research.
The pharmacist’s specialist knowledge in medication should outweigh that of the multidisciplinary team (MDT). Rather then being seen at the end of the treatment pathway, we should be seen as an integral part of the patient’s care; without our profession, patient care in any setting would not be at its best.
I was so pleased to see the number of pharmacists sharing their work on #Pharmacy24 day! It was inspiring to see how pharmacists have continued to adapt and provide patient care throughout this challenging time. During the pandemic, pharmacists moved from their usual roles into critical care roles. They learnt how to manage diseases they were not familiar with in short periods of time, found drug alternatives when the nation experienced shortages, worked together with MDTs, adapted to changes in the workplace and supported each other.
I want to work with the RPS to ensure that these changes continue to happen, and we push for continued pharmacist education and grow the role of the pharmacist, no matter the setting.
Sarah Sawieres, election candidate, English pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society