I write to express my concern about the presumed policy the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has towards reimbursement of locum costs.
I was recently invited to participate in a steering group to help form and inform RPS guidance. Initially, I was flattered to be asked but, when I enquired about reimbursement of locum expenses, was both surprised and concerned to be informed there was “no budget”.
Attendance at these meetings is not without cost and while it is a clichÃ© to say “time is money”, that does not make it any less accurate.
That the RPS expects members to give their time and expertise for free shows a level of contempt that I, for one, find breathtaking.
If we do not value our profession, who will?
Steve Eggleston, community pharmacist, Pershore, Worcestershire
Wing Tang, head of professional standards, Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said:
“We greatly value the expertise, advice and insight of our members and multidisciplinary colleagues who help us through informal feedback on our standards and guidance, and also as part of our advisory or steering groups. Knowing we are getting the best information from subject experts adds greatly to the impact of our resources. I am often awed by the passion, dedication and time which is freely provided, for example by the Medicines, Ethics and Practice advisory group annually.
“For face-to-face meetings of our advisory groups to discuss professional standards or guidance, we reimburse travel and sometimes accommodation expenses in line with our travel policy. Unfortunately, it would be prohibitive to the programme of work to reimburse cover for all the healthcare professionals on the all advisory groups for all of the meetings which are needed to develop a standard or guidance.
“Those who contribute are greatly appreciated and help make the professional body what it is. I very much hope members will continue to collaborate with us in this way.”