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.
The excellent delivery of healthcare services, despite all odds and challenges, remains the heart’s desire of the government, people and healthcare practitioners across the board.
Pharmacists have continuously put themselves forward, using their unique skills to provide much needed services to the populace. Pharmacists have taken on broader and more rigorous responsibilities. Some of this we were already capable of but not functioning in; for others we have had to “upskill” to ensure we get it right and deliver excellently.
Upskilling involves time, money, energy, dedication, and some sort of passion that makes it worthwhile.
Negative effects for individuals could be loss of family time, additional stress, loss of much desired work-life balance. Pharmacists have taken on this challenge — some willingly, some under duress of not having a choice.
The investment into upskilling should yield increase in remuneration to individual practitioners aside from the ‘negotiated’ payment for services. This should be a must have. Payment for delivery of additional services should be separate from that going to pharmacist practitioners.
What we have now is payments being made to contractors for delivery of additional services. What about the practitioners delivering the services? Do they get a pay rise?
Some contractors have tactfully passed some remuneration on to pharmacists delivering the services. This should cut across the board.
Another look should be given to the delivery of additional services and practicing at upskilled levels. Increase in remuneration should be incorporated into the pharmacy pay structure with the actioning of all pharmacists being independent prescribers by 2027.
In a discussion with a leader in pharmacy, the individual said that there would not be increased remuneration to upskilled pharmacists or independent prescribers (IPs) in his organisation. Further commenting that “ls it not just CPD”?
I will leave each reader to form an opinion regarding this individual’s comment.
I quickly noted this individual was not an IP, had been in ‘management role’ for quite a while, obviously (or perhaps) disengaged from the reality of what upskilling in any way or taking on the challenge of becoming an IP meant.
I concluded that the fight for a better pharmacy for the future should start with having leaders that feel, talk and walk, and not just talk the talk.
Omolola (Lola) Dabiri, election candidate, Scottish pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society