Much has been written about the role pharmacy can play in relieving pressures on the NHS — being an integral part of accident and emergency departments and GP surgeries, developing public health services and improving interfaces between primary and secondary care. This is welcome news because the NHS has historically undervalued the role that we can play in improving and maintaining the public’s health. However, there is a huge hurdle to these becoming a reality, which we collectively ignore at our peril.
If the profession is being asked to deliver cost savings for the NHS, improve patient care and improve systems, then we must do more to strengthen, empower and support employee pharmacists and locums. Currently, workforce pressures are increasing, we have the wrong people setting targets and we have too many non-pharmacist managers who are not regulated the same way pharmacists are. It is no wonder we have acute and chronic workforce depression. And there are many who are hacked off, suffering from worry, victimisation, anxiety and bullying, and those having continuous battles, arguments and confrontations with management.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) must therefore urgently and imperatively address this imbalance and take a wider look at the environment the profession operates in. Otherwise we are in serious danger of under-delivering on expectation and that will affect the entire profession. Only when we improve morale, inspire confidence, provide substantial back up to individual members and make sure pharmacy teams feel engaged and incentivised will there be benefits to the profession, the NHS and the patients we serve. If elected, my pledge is to ensure the RPS decisively leads on this.
Sultan “Sid” Dajani
English Pharmacy Board
Royal Pharmaceutical Society