The Welsh Pharmacy Board held their third meeting of the year on 12 October 2017, at the Society’s offices in Pontprennau, Cardiff. Guests at the meeting were Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), Ash Soni, president of the RPS, Alex Mackinnon, RPS director for Scotland and Maurice Hickey, project policy pharmacist at RPS Scotland.
Mair Davies, director for Wales, welcomed Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS, to the meeting. Bennett said that in the first few months of his new role, he had been “delighted by the real warmth and ambition of society colleagues in Wales, Scotland and England”. Bennett added that he had understood from RPS colleagues, the boards and the assembly a desire for stronger alignment between the different teams within the Society, and recommended that the RPS “focus down, and be ambitious to the limits of our capacity”.
Director’s and chair’s update
Mair Davies congratulated Elen Jones, practice and policy lead for RPS in Wales, on receiving the “Innovation in Health and Welsh Language” award from the Welsh Government. Jones is part of the Welsh Language Scholarship and Education Network at Cardiff University’s college of Biomedical and Life Sciences, and the network won the award for their work to ensure the future pharmacy workforce can consult with patients in both English and Welsh.
Davies reported that there were now 40 pharmacists in the Welsh NHS 111 service, covering out-of-hours times and weekend shifts in clinical hubs. These pharmacists are being trained using curricula developed by RPS Wales, and Davies told the Board that many of the pharmacist receiving training in that pilot were not RPS members initially, but have since joined.
Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the Welsh Pharmacy Board, said that following a September 2017 meeting with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), it had been agreed that the two Royal Colleges would progress a joint workshop to identify the core training, knowledge and skills needed across multidisciplinary professions in primary care.
Scott-Thomas also noted that there is still no Welsh representation on the Fellow’s Panel, and said that action should be taken to encourage a Welsh pharmacist to apply for panel membership.
2018 Business plan
Mair Davies shared RPS Wales’s priorities for 2018. These include the publication and communication of an end-of-life care policy document, endorsed by key stakeholders, which would be followed by a campaign in the third and fourth quarters of 2018. RPS Wales will also develop services to help improve pharmacists’ wellbeing and resilience; will provide support through the revalidation process, and will support pharmacists’ professional autonomy within multidisciplinary teams.
In 2018 RPS Wales will also work with stakeholders to refresh
Your Care, Your Medicines: Pharmacy at the heart of patient-centred care
. This report, by the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee and supported by the RPS, was launched in 2014 ahead of the fourth Medicines Safety Conference. It sets out a vision of pharmacy as fully integrated across multidisciplinary teams: how such integration could operate, and what the benefits to patients and the NHS would be.
Ross Gregory, head of external relations at RPS Wales, said that since the last Board meeting in June 2017, RPS Wales had met with several stakeholders to help raise the profile of the sector. At a meeting with Ruth Hussey, chair of the Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care, the Society shared case studies of pharmacists making a difference to patient care as part of multi-disciplinary teams, and ensuring greater use of NHS resources. Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, had met RPS Wales to discuss workforce planning for implementation of the Public Health Act. Representatives of RPS Wales also attended the Cross Party Group on Dementia, and continued to engage with the Welsh Government and other Royal Colleges to help shape the dementia strategy for Wales.
Medicines Safety Conference
Ross Gregory said that a range of high-calibre speakers had been confirmed for the seventh Medicines Safety Conference, to be held in the Vale Resort, Pontyclun on 29 November 2017.
Paul Bennett asked how the Society could “harness best practice in medicines safety from Wales and spread it around Great Britain?” Board member Fiona Jones added that in her view, the fact that pharmacists can prevent harm from medicines, in addition to all their other roles, is “not a message we get out enough”.
Scott-Thomas responded that while RPS Wales “is small, that makes us agile and quick to respond. We can pilot best practice: I’m happy to look at how we can share that”.
- The next Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting will be held on 18 January 2018.