Our roles as experts in pharmacy are to ensure we have the right information and well trained staff and well equipped pharmacies to support our patients and ensure the care we provide is of standard.
Pharmacies across all sectors, GP practices, NHS trusts, community pharmacists and others will need continuous education and training in place to support research and the growth and changing in waves of pharmacy practices.
With health promotion and campaigns needed for public health medicines (drugs abuse and misuse) — training and personal development becomes an essential part of pharmacists’ development and the rise of public health pharmacy.
With a lack of proper funding in place, it’s difficult to tackle the above.
Another important area is pay, for both locums and permanent employees. The rates for locums are still ridiculous and sometimes not paid for weeks in arrears and for permanent employees too, their working conditions and pay compared with value provided by pharmacists aren’t good enough.
Pharmacists need pay scale support advocates, it’s time to come together to talk and look together into this, as a board member as well as a team.
Looking into patient experiences with pharmacists, this isn’t great either, and is not as expected compared with other advanced clinicians, such as doctors and nurses, which is due to high workloads and pharmacists not having enough time for patient consultations, patient interactions or building relationships with our patients and their care, thus affecting the value of care as well as pharmacists themselves not being able to provide optimal services as required.
Advocating for better use of pharmacists’ skills and supporting them for taking up responsibility is highly needed and taking this on board should be a priority.
Sherifat Muhammad Kamal, English Pharmacy Board candidate