The profile of pharmacy

Pharmacy is everything to me, so why can’t others see that? The roles we undertake are essential and drive forward patient care and our health service on a daily basis, yet we are nowhere near that potential, why?

To me, there is a basic answer to this question and it stems from the profile of pharmacy, both within the healthcare sector, across the wider population and the comparisons that can be seen against, for example, medicine and nursing.

From a funding and standing perspective, pharmacy is in the background, seen as a support service that facilitates the work of others who are ’treating patients’ and often left behind in funding process and service development until it is too late to make a meaningful difference.

Regardless of practice, patient-facing pharmacy staff are highly likely to interact with a greater number of different patients on a given routine day than other healthcare professionals.

So how do we change the fundamental assumptions and thought process nationally to bring pharmacy to the forefront and on parity with other professions in a sustainable and workforce focussed manner?

The role of the professional body and its board members is key to this, and there needs to be distinct overlap between the body and the true experts of their given fields. Those individuals need to still be very much active within these areas, as practice evolves so quickly you need contemporary views on what can work, what doesn’t and to help direct innovation of true benefit. They can also portray the true challenges that the profession is facing. They then need to take developments back, have the drive and standing both locally and regionally to implement change and the backing. This will drive pockets of change and an increase in both perceived and observed value outside of the profession.

The elected board members need the passion, drive and charisma to sell these ideals of what pharmacy truly can achieve, alongside the stamina to keep hitting on those doors. For example, within secondary care, why isn’t the Chief Pharmacist a mandated member of the Executive Board?

We need seats at the table and those seats to be filled by the right people for the future of pharmacy. Social media plays an important part but we must not over rely on it, it can open doors but doesn’t replace direct interactions which establish true sustainable change.

Matthew Prior

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.313236

    Please leave a comment 

    You may also be interested in