The RPS needs to evolve towards becoming a royal college

It’s good occasionally to step back and take a wider perspective. Where is our profession heading? How well prepared are we to satisfy the present and future needs of our patients? What do you want from your career? How best can you achieve it, and how well supported do you feel?

What do you consider to be good examples of successful and highly regarded clinically-based professions? What do they all have in common? What elevates their professional standing relative to other medical disciplines and in the eyes of patients?

The answer is that they are all represented by strong and influential professional leadership bodies, otherwise known as royal colleges. And those royal colleges have the credibility to advocate on behalf of their members because they enjoy the confidence of their professions.

Do you see the pharmacy profession in the same light? Do you see our professional leadership as influential and credible? Why have you made the decision to support the work of the RPS, but most of your colleagues have not? Do you feel that the RPS enjoys the confidence of the profession? Clearly not. And it needs to.

Not by telling potential members how good it is, but by actively demonstrating how valuable it is!

Think about what those outside of the profession are looking for. Those we need to influence, who need the confidence to trust us with delivering the public health agenda to the highest standards of patient care. Think about how influential our colleagues in allied medical professions represented by respected bodies have been in being able to advocate and influence. Think about our patients; those who place their trust in our expertise. What would they expect of us?
And then ask yourself why the RPS does not consider it a priority to fulfil the commitment made to the profession to evolve towards formalisation as a royal college. This needs to change.

I remain concerned that our current professional leadership is unsustainable if we are to reach our full potential. Indeed, this is a concern shared by the chief pharmaceutical officers, who established a commission to examine this and now an independent board to develop options for the future delivery of professional leadership. I will champion this.

Please follow me on X/Twitter @voteforsteve for my campaign messages and to join the conversation to create a better professional future for all of us.

Thank you.

Steve Churton

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.311317

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