Pharmacy as a profession is currently undergoing a substantial and challenging period of change. This change is both financial and role defining for the future of pharmacy. We are living in a world of increased expectation and instant service, ageing population, struggling GP recruitment in primary care and an NHS struggling to meet the demands of patients and the public in many areas.
Choose Pharmacy in Wales is promoting community pharmacy as the first point of contact for patients with common ailments. Pharmacy now needs to deliver and ensure it fulfils this role. It must embrace this role fully, build on it and push its boundaries much further. Linking with other professions will be key to delivering a seamless service across organisations. Opportunity must be given for the growing number of independent prescribers to use their skills and develop patient group directions for others. This will allow patients greater access to medicines and strong clinical advice consistently in all areas of the profession.
Patient perception of pharmacy needs to change, and we need to engage with patients outside the traditional dispensing role. Community pharmacy needs to promote its accessibility and convenience to patients. It must become the clinician on the high street and make every contact count towards improving patient health and reducing burden on existing NHS services and primary care.
Equally, pharmacists need to respond to this changing delivery environment. Expanding both the range of services offered, the way that they interact with the public and collaborate with wider service provision. Pharmacists must maintain responsibility for the overall delivery and clinical safety of the dispensing process. This will require re-evaluation of current roles of pharmacy staff and they must be empowered to adapt their roles to support pharmacists with this delivery.
Pharmacy needs a professional body to represent, promote and lead by example. It must pioneer change, disseminate and reassure that pharmacists are ahead of the game in terms of delivering a service for the future proactively, rather than waiting for change to happen. If elected onto the Welsh Pharmacy Board, these are just some of the priorities that I hope my skills and experience will enable me to contribute to the RPS for the benefit of its members.
Dylan Jones, Wales
This is a campaign pledge for the 2018 National Pharmacy Board elections.
Voting opens on 30 April 2018 and closes on 18 May 2018.
For more information, please visit: http://bit.ly/RPSNPB2018