Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting report: January 2018

Board heard that RPS Wales will deliver three regional events on professional revalidation during the first half of the year and that RPS Wales contributed to the Society’s January 2018 response to the Department of Health consultation on reforming professional regulation.

The Welsh Pharmacy Board held their first meeting of 2018 at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Welsh offices in Pontprennau, Cardiff, on 19 January 2018

The Welsh Pharmacy Board held the first meeting of 2018 at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s (RPS) Welsh offices in Pontprennau, Cardiff, on 19 January 2018.

Guests at the meeting were Paul Bennett, chief executive of the RPS; Ash Soni, president of the RPS (video link); Jodie Gwenter, RPS Local Morgannwg co-ordinator; Julie Davies, RPS Local Cwm Taff co-ordinator; and Joanne Kember, observer for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

After opening the meeting, Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the Board, congratulated Cheryl Way, Board member, on becoming a Fellow of the Society, acknowledging her achievements, including pushing the digital pharmacy agenda forward.

Giving the director’s report, Mair Davies, RPS director for Wales, said that the RPS Wales and NHS 111 Wales had developed a 100-day transition programme for pharmacists moving into NHS 111. A pilot of the programme began on 15 January 2018, and Way will be conducting an evaluation of the pilot.

Medicines safety conference

Ross Gregory, head of external relations at RPS Wales, said that the 2017 Medicines Safety Conference was the most successful to date in terms of engagement from policy makers and members.

The conference was attended by 225 delegates — 24% of whom were non-pharmacists, Gregory said — and around 50,000 Twitter impressions were made. Two-thirds of respondents rated the conference as excellent and 98% rated the event speakers as excellent or good. 

Election update

Scott-Thomas reminded the Board that four members come to the end of their term on 21 June 2018: Way, Fiona Jones, Mike Curson and Edwyn Phillip Parry. It was noted that in 2017 there was no election in Wales, as no new candidates stepped forward. As a result, all four candidates last year were re-appointed to the Board unopposed. The Board agreed that Welsh members should be further encouraged to stand for election.

Business plan update

The RPS had met with Ruth Hussey, former chief medical officer for Wales and current chair of the Welsh Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care, in the last quarter of 2017. This was to promote integrated clinical roles for pharmacists — part of RPS Wales’s objective to improve public health and wellbeing. Davies noted the emphasis on wellbeing throughout the review’s report, The Parliamentary Review of Health and Social Care in Wales Review’s report, which was published in January 2018.

It was also noted that RPS Wales’s care home campaign had been very successful, with new roles for pharmacists in Welsh care homes now established.

Davies shared RPS Wales’s 2018 business plan, which is aligned to the RPS Strategy Goals for 2016–2021. Among its objectives, RPS Wales will deliver three regional events on professional revalidation within the first half of the year, with digital support to extend the events’ reach. A revalidation solution for members and non-members is planned to be ready in time to meet General Pharmaceutical Council deadlines.

In advocacy plans, quarterly meetings with Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officer for Wales, have been established. A meeting will be held in Q1 or Q2 with Vaughan Gething, Welsh cabinet secretary for health, to discuss workplace pressures for pharmacists, demonstrate the effectiveness of pharmacist independent prescribers in service models and discuss the implications of Brexit.

It was also noted that long-term conditions and the Falsified Medicines Directive will remain on the agenda throughout 2018.

Local engagement

Elen Jones, practice and policy lead at RPS Wales, said that the last quarter of 2017 had seen more than 100 different attendees at RPS Local events, with a lot of new people attending. Many events had focused on wellbeing and the “soft” skills, including leadership, Jones said.

Gwenter said that a large proportion of attendees at events came from the primary and secondary sectors, with less engagement from community pharmacists.

Following some discussion, the Board agreed that the ongoing work to increase the digital reach of RPS Local events was crucial, and Scott-Thomas noted that the RPS Local Facebook and Twitter pages now looked more professional and aligned to RPS objectives. The feeling from the Board, Scott-Thomas noted, was that while face-to-face events remained an important aspect of local events, the Society needed to continue to emphasise social media engagement.


Updating the Board on Society policy, Elen Jones said that in December 2017 a GB-wide response to the UK government’s proposal to schedule pregablin and gabapentin under the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001 had been submitted. The RPS recommends that the two drugs be listed under Schedule 3, but with exemptions excluding them from requirements for safe custody and storage and allowing them to be available through emergency supply.

RPS Wales also fed into the Society’s January 2018 response to the Department of Health consultation on “Promoting professionalism, reforming regulation”.

Elen Jones also shared RPS Wales’s palliative care plan for the next few months, which should see a final document being agreed by May 2018.

  • The next meeting of the Welsh Pharmacy Board was set for 18 April 2018.
Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, February 2018, Vol 300, No 7910;300(7910):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2018.20204396

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