What efforts would candidates expect the RPS to take to ensure community pharmacies are treated as healthcare settings?
Community pharmacies ARE healthcare settings, as evidenced by the Healthy Living Pharmacies requirement of PQS, supported by Healthy Living Champions. Likewise, providing influenza and COVID-19 vaccination services, other vaccinations such as travel and pneumonia, the new hypertension service, drug user services, sexual health services and, in many pharmacies, other private services such as weight management.
Public health campaigns are supported in pharmacy and the accessibility to the public cannot be undervalued.
The RPS produces the Medicines, Ethics and Practice guide, the BNF, Medicines Complete and guidelines for standards in hospital and community pharmacy. The RPS must continue to publish these and provide support for the highest standards of practice. The RPS professional support helpline is of huge value to practicing pharmacists, helping deal with often complex queries in frontline pharmacy.
The RPS meets regularly with the decision-makers and legislators, and it is vital that the role of pharmacy and the valuable place it has in frontline healthcare is reinforced and highlighted on these occasions.
The RPS is an important mouthpiece for the pharmacy profession, and working alongside other pharmacy bodies, speaking with ONE VOICE, raises the profile of pharmacy.
Do candidates commit to keeping the RPS membership base to current populations?
Full membership of the RPS should only be for fully qualified pharmacists, with full voting rights, as per the criteria set out in the RPS Royal Charter.
However, I would be open to exploring associate membership for other categories, as per that followed by other professional bodies. As well as being an important revenue stream, it could facilitate closer working with bodies such as APTUK.
Equally, we must embrace affiliate pharmacy bodies and continue to pursue our ambition to become a member of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.
As I say in my election statement:
The RPS MUST be inclusive, relevant and recognised.
Sibby Buckle, English Pharmacy Board candidate