Eight pharmacy organisations have stated their desire to be part of the new professional body for pharmacy, following a meeting of the Waterloo group. The group (PJ, 31 March 2007, p357), made up of parties with an interest in the future body’s success, convened in London last week to discuss the Clarke Inquiry’s report on the matter.
The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, the British Oncology Pharmacy Association, the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association, the College of Pharmacy Practice (and its faculties), the Institute of Pharmacy Management, the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association, the United Kingdom Psychiatric Pharmacy Group and the College of Mental Health Pharmacists all wish to be an integral part of the professional body, as do the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s sector groups.
In a report of the meeting, Ian Simpson, CPP chief executive, wrote on behalf of the Waterloo group: “It was agreed that the Waterloo group organisations had much to contribute to the formation and subsequent development of the new professional body, and all were keen to be involved.
“It is imperative that the Waterloo group and the Society work together effectively to establish the transitional committee and to appoint an independent chair. This will ensure that the process demonstrates credibility and validity to potential members.”
The Waterloo group broadly agreed with Nigel Clarke’s recommendations. However, there was concern that the suggested science and academia sector division did not give pharmacists in industry a high enough profile and that pharmacists involved in NHS commissioning were included in the same sector as providers of hospital services.
In terms of the new body’s image, Mr Simpson reported: “We wish to reinforce Clarke’s comment that this is not a rebadged RPSGB, [since] this will not be attractive to potential members. It must be a bottom up organisation. The prospectus [to be] produced by the transitional committee needs to ensure that the new body has a new name, a location distinct from the GPhC and offers an attractive range of services to all potential members.”
There was general agreement with the concept of a “committee of special interest groups” but that title was not favoured. “Perhaps ‘board for specialist and advanced practice’ would be an acceptable alternative,” Mr Simpson wrote.
“It is important to distinguish between practising in a specialty and practising at a higher level, and [this] board should deal with both. Assessment should be competency based and should be standardised across specialties and throughout GB or the UK. … The board and its work must have credibility and academic rigour and the involvement of recognised clinical and academic experts is essential.”
It was proposed that APTUK, the BPSA, the CPP and the UKCPA should each have a seat on the transitional committee alongside other organisations that will remain separate from the new body, such as the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, the Pharmacists’ Defence Association, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the National Pharmacy Association.