Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), has revealed that the Society has just begun the development of a new set of professional standards for community pharmacy.
Speaking at the ‘Pharmacy in Great Britain’ session at the FIP Congress in Glasgow on 3 September 2018, Bennett highlighted that it was an important role of the RPS to develop standards to “challenge the profession to aspire to the next level of practice”.
“We are now commencing a piece of work on a set of professional standards for community pharmacy,” he added.
Minutes from the RPS English Pharmacy Board meeting in June 2018 said work would start on a new set of professional standards for community pharmacists in September 2018, under the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence accreditation process, and that it could take 18 months to develop.
Bennett also noted that there was “healthy tension” between the Society and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). The comment came in response to a question from the floor regarding the relationship between the RPS and the GPhC since their separation. He added: “We get on very well on a personal level.
“There are some things that the RPS would comment on, that we believe the regulator could do differently. Our role is actually about shining a light on those issues and making sure there is real clarity in the minds of the council of the regulator; so they understand what it is that our members, as practitioners, feel they require from the standards that the regulator has responsibility for.”
But he went on to add that it is “very positive” that the individual roles of the RPS and the GPhC are distinct.
Bennett said: “I often have conversations with Duncan Rudkin — who is my counterpart at the GPhC — that they create regulatory standards that are an absolute “must achieve”, and we create professional standards — the aspiration. They too have a desire to see standards continually improve. We are both of one mind on continual improvement and that is why we have a constructive relationship.”
The 2018 FIP congress in Glasgow, Scotland, brings together pharmacy practitioners and pharmaceutical scientists from around the world to consider ways of extending the role of pharmacists so that they play a full part in ensuring patients, and health systems, achieve full benefit from the medicines people take.
The theme of the 78th FIP World Congress of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is ‘Pharmacy: Transforming outcomes!’.
This is the first time that the FIP World Congress has been held in the UK for nearly 40 years. The last time was in 1979, making this a truly unique learning opportunity for pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists in Great Britain.
UK healthcare company RB is Gold Sponsor of this year’s congress.