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.
Today’s pharmacy profession allows for a growing portfolio profile; we are in an era of our profession where the likelihood of staying in one sector may disappear over time.
There is a strong need for pharmacists with multisector experience bringing in their knowledge base to establish, develop, and support emerging sectors. I want to share the three sectors I work in and their fantastic contribution to our healthcare service.
Integrated care systems are the future of our health system. I believe that we as pharmacy professionals must be integral to collaborative and multidisciplinary working, showcasing our expert knowledge of medicines and clinical skills, ensuring holistic care for patients.
Practice pharmacists’ roles have advanced over the past decade, with primary care network roles established more recently and evolving rapidly. We are clinicians working in a multidisciplinary environment with health and social care colleagues, and we are vital to its success both for our patients and for the healthcare system.
Our roles as integrated urgent care pharmacists are critical to the urgent care and primary care landscape. We utilise our skillset in conjunction with various healthcare professionals — including doctors, paramedics and nurses — to provide out-of-hours care for the population.
Employing a deeper and broader understanding of the health landscape, our knowledge about medicines and our increasing clinical assessment and consultation skills should be paramount to providing care to our patients within NHS 111 and urgent care settings.
Furthermore, pharmacists have been engaging in research for many years, not least recently, through the COVID-19 pandemic. Through Oxford University, the PRINCIPLE trial, with its unique findings in the treatment of COVID-19 symptoms in the community, is an excellent example of pharmacists working collaboratively and UK wide in supporting research.
Another example is the PINCER project, a pharmacist-led intervention to reduce medication errors, thereby improving medication safety, which is now being looked at for national rollout after outstanding success.
Whilst possibilities through science and research are endless, our leadership needs to invest in creating equitable opportunities and provide the framework for all pharmacy colleagues the chance to be involved in modern-day research.
I genuinely believe that we should view a portfolio career as our new normal and not a black swan occurrence within our profession. We need leadership reflective of this diversity to help harness, support and strengthen the profession providing equity of opportunity for all.
Ojali Negedu, election candidate, English pharmacy board, Royal Pharmaceutical Society