The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is calling for member views on the future of RPS local engagement. RPS local practice forums (LPFs), or ‘RPS locals’ as many are now known, are only engaging 10% of the membership across England, Scotland and Wales so the RPS is keen to develop a new model to increase uptake in all three countries.
“Local engagement centres on how our members work together to support each other’s development while also having a wider impact on the role of pharmacists in all of the varied sectors our members work in,” says Robbie Turner, director for England. “RPS England will be working with LPFs and members throughout 2017 and beyond to make our local engagement as useful as possible for our members.
“No pharmacist in England can have missed the continued move towards a more local NHS. Many decisions impacting how our members can use their skills as a pharmacist to support patients are now taken at a local level,” he adds.
Mair Davies, director for Wales, says that there is enthusiasm among RPS members for a new local engagement model in Wales, and that digitalisation needs to be a key part of how local engagement evolves across Great Britain. “We need to move into a different era and if we want to engage with all of our members, digitalisation needs to underpin all of this,” she says. In its recent board meeting, the Welsh Pharmacy Board agreed that there was a need for local coordinators to be assigned to local practice forum areas and that events need to be quality assured and aligned with the strategic goals of the RPS.
Providing a digital offering and encouraging board members to get involved will also be the key priorities for RPS Scotland. “We want to get the board members closer to local members so that they’re closer to the constituents who elect them,” explains Alex Mackinnon, director for Scotland. “As well as events, we’ll have a corresponding production of the digital element so that the 90% of members who don’t manage to go to meetings can get it digitally when they’re at home.”
Members of the RPS’s Local Engagement Task & Finish Group (LETFG) are currently visiting LPFs to discuss what model of local engagement would be valued by RPS members. Following these discussions, and input from the wider RPS membership, the LETFG will be developing recommendations by 31 March 2017.
If you would like to contribute to the future of local engagement, a Local Engagement Reference Group has been formed to scrutinise and advise on the recommendations made by the LETFG. To get involved, please contact the RPS support team at: email@example.com.