From Mr I. G. Simpson, FRPharmS, and others
We are grateful to Alan Rogers for his useful review of the current situation on professional regulation and leadership (PJ, 16 June, p707) and we agree with much of what he has to say. However, as some of the signatories to the Waterloo Agreement, we must point out two factual errors in his article. The first is that it is the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and not the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association that is the largest organisation among the signatories. The second is that we have not, as stated by Mr Rogers, been vocal in opposing a revamped Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
The Waterloo Agreement was published as part of the King’s Fund Report1 and is available on the College of Pharmacy Practice website but perhaps it is worth restating the first three points here, because they clearly demonstrate our commitment to work with the Society:
• The organisations will work together with each other, with the Society and the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland towards the establishment of a body akin to a royal college to provide leadership for the pharmacy profession at national and UK levels
• The organisations recognise the importance of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in terms of its Charter, history, infrastructure and assets
• The organisations believe that they all have significant contributions to make to the debate and infrastructure of the new body and that they should, therefore, participate as equal partners with the UK pharmaceutical societies and others in formative discussions of the aims, objectives and organisational arrangements
The third point is similar to Mr Rogers’s proposal that the national pharmaceutical bodies should join with the Society to explore the way forward. Indeed the chairman of the UKCPA (PJ, 9 June, p672) has already called for pharmaceutical organisations, including the Society, to move forward in partnership. In addition, we agree with Mr Rogers’s proposal for the CPP to join the Society and others as the vehicle for driving forward clinical leadership and excellence. The college chief executive (ibid, p671) has already suggested that the college and other organisations should merge under the umbrella of the Society, to become the academy of pharmacy practice proposed in Lord Carter’s report2 and this is not, as suggested in your editorial (PJ, 16 June, p692), motivated by financial issues.
In the same letter, the college chief executive has outlined the sensitivities around the use of the title “royal”, so we are in wholehearted agreement with Mr Rogers’s proposal that we should abandon the phrase “body akin to a royal college”, and move forward together to create a “body for professional and clinical leadership” to include all aspects of the science and practice of pharmacy.
We are pleased that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has approved plans to consult members and key stakeholders on the way forward (PJ, 16 June, p693) and we look forward to participating in those discussions.
Ian G. Simpson
College of Pharmacy Practice
UK Clinical Pharmacy Association
Institute of Pharmacy Management
Pharmaceutical Advisers’ Group
College of Mental Health Pharmacists
Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists
UK Radiopharmacy Group
British Oncology Pharmacy Association
NHS Pharmacy Education and Development Committee
1. King’s Fund. Professional leadership in pharmacy — exploring the case for a royal college for the pharmacy profession. London: The King’s Fund, 23 March 2007.
2. Department of Health. Report of the working party on professional regulation and leadership in pharmacy. Gateway Ref: 8166. London: Department of Health, May 2007.