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.
Pharmacists are at risk.
At no other time has this been more apparent than during the pandemic, when the profession has truly risen to the challenge of maintaining standards of patient care, despite increased demand and difficult working conditions. Yet other risks have existed for far longer and continue to do so, according to the Pharmacists’ Defence Association’s (PDA’s) annual patient safety survey.
A substantial portion of pharmacists across multiple sectors continue to report that they are often required to self-check, feel unable to raise concerns and are unable to take adequate rest breaks. These factors put not just pharmacists at risk, but our patients as well. The PDA launched the Safer Pharmacies Charter in 2018, asking pharmacists and pharmacies to commit to seven basic tenets of practice.
As our professional body, we rely on the RPS to lead on maintaining and developing professional standards, yet these risks and others contribute to an erosion of those standards. The RPS should therefore support this initiative, to promote high standards and safe practice in pharmacies.
If elected to the English National Pharmacy Board, I will continue to encourage the RPS to provide this support, as well as encouraging closer working relationships with a variety of other organisations that represent both pharmacists and employers.
Alisdair Jones, election candidate, English pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society