Health and wellbeing included in updated RPS hospital pharmacy standards for the first time

'Professional standards for hospital pharmacy services' intends to set out examples of good practice across NHS and independent hospital pharmacy services.
A woman checking prescription drugs in a hospital pharmacy

Ensuring a healthy work–life balance for pharmacists and challenging barriers to diversity have been included in updated Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) ‘Professional standards for hospital pharmacy services’ for the first time.

The standards, which were first published in 2012, have been updated twice and the 2022 update includes two new sections: inclusion and wellbeing; and research, audit and quality improvement.

The standards are designed for use across the full range of NHS and independent hospital pharmacy services, including hospitals, mental health, community service, prison, hospice and ambulance settings. Use of the standards is not mandatory, but is intended to set out examples of good practice.

Under inclusion and wellbeing, the new standards say that pharmacy teams should have a “culture of belonging which champions inclusive and authentic leadership, challenges inclusion and diversity barriers and promotes positive mental health and wellbeing”.

This includes commitments to foster a “healthy work–life balance”, and to “collect and understand workforce data relating to equality and diversity and have an action plan to address any identified inequalities”.

Among new guidance for research, audit and quality improvement, the standards say that the pharmacy team would be “supported to develop skills to participate in, conduct, and lead research, audit and quality improvement projects”.

Sarah Crawshaw, pharmacy foundation training lead (South West) for Health Education England, who led on the update to the standards, said that the standards were UK-wide for the first time, having been endorsed by the Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland.

“In addition, we have gained endorsement from the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association, the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group and the Independent Chief Pharmacists Group, with a number of other bodies keen to endorse the standards and going through internal governance procedures,” Crawshaw added.

Roger Fernandes, chair of the RPS hospital expert advisory group, said: “[The standards] create consistent quality of patient care across healthcare and provide chief pharmacists and directors of pharmacy with a set of guidelines against which they can be held accountable.

“These will be essential in enabling leaders meet the expectations of the General Pharmaceutical Council who will be directly defining their future roles after legislative change comes into force on 1 December [2022].”

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, November 2022, Vol 309, No 7967;309(7967)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2022.1.165510


  • Prijay Bakrania


    The link in the article is to the 2017 version of the standards. The link to the 2022 version is here:

    • Hannah Krol

      Hi Prijay,

      Thank you for your comment. This has now been updated.

      Kind regards,

      Hannah Krol, Deputy Chief Subeditor


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