A central focus for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in England in 2022 was the development of our ‘Vision for pharmacy professional practice‘, in partnership with The King’s Fund. This report, published on 14 December 2022, sets out how pharmacy teams can support better patient care and help address key challenges facing the nation’s health.
We had a fantastic response from the pharmacy profession and beyond to help shape the vision through a consultation and a series of webinars. It was great to hear everyone’s views on the future of pharmacy practice and there was a real sense of excitement about what the vision could mean for enhanced patient care.
However, we also heard about the challenges that teams are facing right now, with significant workforce pressures and increased demands on health and social care services — issues we highlighted to MPs at a select committee in May 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on everyone and the health service now needs to rebuild, overcoming capacity and demand challenges, and addressing the health inequalities exposed by the pandemic. We think that pharmacy teams can increasingly play an important role.
With continued pressures on teams, I know it is not always easy to look to the future but I hope this ‘Vision for pharmacy professional practice’ is the start of the next part of the conversation. In 2023, we will be looking ahead to working with the profession and partners across pharmacy to help make this vision a reality.
Thorrun Govind, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society English Pharmacy Board
We have had a busy year at RPS Scotland with some fantastic highlights. The publication of ‘Pharmacy 2030: a professional vision‘ in February 2022 was a huge achievement for us. Then, in June 2022, we launched it to MSPs at a Scottish Parliamentary Reception sponsored by Gillian Martin, the convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.
In March 2022, Clare Morrison, director for RPS Scotland, gave evidence at the Scottish Parliament on the ‘Alternative pathways to primary care’ inquiry. This report was then published in June, in which a primary recommendation was the introduction of a shared patient record — an important enabler for ‘Pharmacy 2030’, which we were delighted about.
RPS Scotland brought together pharmacists from across Scotland working in all sectors to deliver a sharing best practice event in Glasgow in May 2022, with more than 20 brilliant examples shared.
Then, in June 2022, our joint statement on reducing the environmental impact of prescribing with the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges was published and has now been signed by ten health professional leadership bodies.
We co-hosted a round table on sharing patient records with the General Pharmaceutical Council in October 2022. This was attended by the government, MSPs, professional bodies and clinicians. We also held a round table on disability in pharmacy at Scottish Parliament, hosted by Jeremy Balfour, MSP for Lothian (region).
It has been and exciting year for us and we are looking forward to carrying on this work in 2023.
Andrew Carruthers, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Scottish Pharmacy Board
In 2022, we brought the pharmacy profession together in Wales by playing a central role in the development of 2025 goals to push forward the implementation of ‘Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales‘. Launched with the support of the Welsh government in November 2022, the ambitions of the profession have been set out for the next three years following extensive consultation and engagement. We will be continuing to lead on this work in 2023, including a view of the opportunities for community pharmacy afforded by the new contract in Wales.
The transformation of the role of pharmacy has also been put in clear view during engagement with the Senedd in 2022. Advocating on behalf of our members is vitally important. A particular highlight was holding a parliamentary event on the wellbeing of the profession which resulted in a Senedd debate where all parties unanimously agreed to the principles of guaranteeing access to breaks and protected learning time.
In 2023, we are excited to have been asked to continue to lead on the delivery of the ten-year vision, in addition to an independent review of clinical pharmacy services in Welsh hospitals.
We look forward to engaging with the profession on these projects and a return to hosting in person ‘local’ events for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cheryl Way, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Welsh Pharmacy Board