The Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s Hospital Pharmacists Group have broadly supported the recommendations of the Clarke Inquiry final report.
The report recommends that membership of the new professional body should be open to all members of the pharmacy family, with different levels of membership for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.
Other levels of membership would be available to groups such as preregistration trainees, pharmacy students and retired pharmacists.
The report also recommends that the council for the professional body should consist of 19 members (rather than the current 30), of which there would be two representatives from the hospital, primary care trust or health board sector.
In addition, a committee for special interest groups (SIGs) should be formed to support and integrate the work of the current SIGs. This committee should also have two seats on the new council. It was also suggested that the new council should only meet four or five times a year.
Other recommendations for the professional body include:
- It should not function as a trade union;
- It should aspire to set the standard for undergraduate, preregistration and postregistration learning;
- It should provide a home for the scientific and academic community, creating a bridge between them and other members.
“We welcome the inquiry report recommendations on the inclusion of the broad pharmacy family, the focus on education and patient safety, challenging current practice and seeking to raise practice standards rather than a focus on the enforcement of the existing position,” said Richard Cattell, guild president. The guild supports the suggestion that the professional body should not function as a trade union.
“The recommendations contained within [this report] will resonate positively with hospital pharmacists,” said Ray Fitzpatrick, chairman of the HPG. He said the group is pleased with the suggestion of reserved places for all sectors of the profession on the national boards and the body’s council, and that a council focusing on strategic and policy issues should meet less frequently. “This will encourage hospital pharmacists to play an active role in governing the new professional body.”