Pharmacy is my profession, my passion and my purpose. I want our profession to have the rightful recognition and valuation it deserves, fully integrated into the healthcare team.
I’d like to share my views on some challenging issues.
What’s my vision for pharmacy?
‘Wherever there is a medicine, there should a pharmacist be’
We pharmacists are the experts on medicines — not doctors, not nurses, not dentists — pharmacists. This has been my mantra since first elected onto the English Pharmacy Board, which, thankfully, is gaining traction. The introduction of services such as NMS, access to the SCR and GP referral to CPCS have been important stages on our journey of recognition. Increasing the number of pharmacist independent prescribers is next, as is full interoperability of GP and pharmacy systems, with read/ write access for pharmacists into patient records.
Pharmacists needs to be recognised as key members of the healthcare team, fully integrated into the reformed NHS of integrated care systems, place-based partnerships, neighbourhoods and the primary care MDT.
Our future lies in service provision, better utilising our clinical skills, moving away from the current supply based model which is no longer fit for purpose. All pharmacists must be prescriber ready, enlarging the prescriber base, supporting the overstretched NHS and improving patient care.
Will I encourage the RPS to support the PDAU Safer Pharmacies Charter?
The 7 commitments in the Safer Pharmacies Charter are:
- No self checking
- Safe staffing
- Access to a pharmacist
- Adequate rest
- Respect for professional judgement
- Raising concerns
- Physically safe
The RPS sets the gold standard for professional practice, NOT the minimum. The above should be a given for all practicing pharmacists, and I want this embedded in the RPS Code of Practice.
Will I oppose remote supervision?
One of the biggest strengths of pharmacy has been the accessibility, availability and approachability of the community pharmacist. We jeopardise that at our peril. However, we must make full use of our highly trained and competent healthcare teams, from healthcare assistants and dispensers to pharmacy technicians and accredited checking technicians to enable us to provide the services of the future and to ensure a bright and viable future for our profession. Supervision has changed over the past few decades, from personally acknowledging every P medicine sale, to being in a position to intervene if necessary. We need to be bold in our review of this legislation.
Sibby Buckle, English Pharmacy Board candidate