The RPS Wales care home document, ‘Improving medicines use in care homes in Wales’, has become the first RPS policy document to be translated into the Welsh language.
“The need for a bilingual policy is greater than ever to reflect the bilingual needs of care home residents in Wales,” said Elen Jones, principal policy adviser at RPS Wales, at an event to launch the document in North Wales at University Glyndwr Conference Centre, St Asaph’s, on 22 April 2016. “For many individuals in Wales, Welsh is the language spoken in their home and it is important that they have the opportunity to speak Welsh in a care home,” she added.
The official launch event was attended by Sarah Rochira, the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales, with whom the RPS has worked closely on the development of its policy.
Speaking at the launch, Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the RPS Welsh Pharmacy Board, explained the importance of spreading the policy as far as possible to reduce “unacceptable” variation in care across care homes in Wales. “We have a collective responsibility to put patients at the centre of care by harnessing the expertise of pharmacists and making the best of resources to reduce harm,” she said.
The importance of reducing variation around care in care homes was echoed by Rochira, author of the report ‘A Place to Call Home’, which was based on around 100 visits to care homes. “Life is far more than just a state of existence, it is the little things that make life big,” she said.
Berwyn Owen, chief pharmacist at Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, spoke at the launch on behalf of the Welsh Government. He announced, in Welsh, that the government would be aiming to ensure every care home in north Wales is allocated a named pharmacist.
Source: Julia Robinson / The Pharmaceutical Journal
“We were delighted with the large attendance and support by RPS Wales/Cymru during the North Wales launch of the bilingual policy,” Owen told The Pharmaceutical Journal after the launch event. “This policy is very timely with a health board commitment to assign a pharmacist to each one of our 218 care homes across North Wales within the year.”
Scott-Thomas highlighted that since the launch of the English version of the document in March 2016, RPS Wales has had meetings with the Welsh Government and Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) to help push its policy recommendations forward.