Community pharmacist: the primary care experts

The need for strong and bold leadership is greater than ever before. Never has the pharmacy profession been presented with a greater opportunity to prove its worth than now. Medicines optimisation is a step change in the way in which pharmacists can help patients live well with their long-term conditions, but of even greater importance is pharmacists, and in particular community pharmacists, delivering the public health agenda, empowering people to live healthy lives and reducing the risk of ill-health befalling them.

Community pharmacy is the bedrock on which we will build a successful and prosperous future for the profession. I pledge that, if elected, I will work tirelessly to ensure community pharmacists are promoted as the primary care experts to deliver public health services, supported self care and medicines optimisation. I will ensure community pharmacy is placed at the centre of the commissioning agenda. All community pharmacies should be accredited as healthy living pharmacies. Pharmacists and their staff should become health trainers and navigators of health care, supporting patients to self care and self manage and becoming active participants in caring not only for their patients but also for the NHS.

Although the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has had good leadership, there are gaps in knowledge and a lack of strategic vision as to where pharmacy fits in. As a pharmacist with experience of community pharmacy at the coal face, and also as a commissioning pharmacist working in primary care and NHS England, I have the necessary skills to fill these gaps. I will challenge the profession to sets its sights high and be leaders of change rather than followers, delivering patient-focused services which patients themselves value and demand.

The Cavendish-Ridge letter published last December admittedly presents a funding challenge for our profession. However, it also presents opportunity, using the resources presented by the pharmacy access and pharmacy integration funds to develop an empowered profession, responsive to the needs of patients, and delivering a sustainable community pharmacy sector which is recognised and fairly rewarded for the services they provide.

This vision for pharmacy is not comfortable for all and yet, without a clear route map showing the direction of travel, we as a profession will fail again. I will listen hard, act responsibly and represent grassroots pharmacists robustly. Are you ready to support this vision?

Carol Roberts

Election candidate

English Pharmacy Board

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Last updated
Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, Community pharmacist: the primary care experts;Online:DOI:10.1211/PJ.2016.20201028