At The Pharmaceutical Journal, we have been developing an insight-led approach to creating editorial campaigns to support the needs of practising pharmacists.
We have conducted several surveys of members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) over the last two years to better understand the realities of pharmacists, the challenges you experience in everyday practice, as well how you work to support patients. Our first salary survey held in 2017 helped inform coverage in The Pharmaceutical Journal, and subsequent surveys led to editorial campaigns on dry eye in 2016 and foot health in 2017. This year, we plan to launch an initiative on osteoarthritis (OA).
One in five adults over 45 years of age have OA of the knee and one in nine have OA of the hip, according to data gathered by Arthritis Research UK and Imperial College London. Treating OA and rheumatoid arthritis costs the healthcare system around £10.2 billion, and with the UK’s ageing population and expanding levels of obesity, ever more people will likely have to live with this painful condition.
In light of this, it is imperative the NHS devises better ways of providing advice and support. Recognising that pharmacists are in a good position to help, we would like to ask about your experience of managing osteoarthritis.
As a member or subscriber, you may well remember receiving emails from us asking you to complete a survey over the last few weeks, although perhaps they were not well-timed because of the changes related to the general data protection regulation (GDPR). A sincere thank you to those who have completed the survey already, and we urge any other pharmacy professionals to also consider taking the survey.
The anonymous data we gather are invaluable to us. The more pharmacists that take the time to complete the survey, the stronger our insights will be. Your participation and support is central to the success of our campaigns; it is how we ensure that your needs are met and the challenges in practice are equally reflected.
Once we have closed the survey and conducted an analysis, we will present those data to a group of relevant experts to inform a discussion on how best practice in pharmacy can support and make a difference to patients. We will also use the results to prioritise the type of articles, learning and CPD we produce to support professional development, and will potentially advocate for policy change.
We believe that this campaign on OA will help us develop new, original content that does not exist elsewhere. As a start, we are planning to convene an interdisciplinary group of experts at the RPS’s headquarters in July 2018 — a group that will include rheumatologists, physiotherapists, GPs and, of course, pharmacists.
At The Pharmaceutical Journal, we are confident in the role that passionate pharmacists and their teams can play, and therefore are relying on your support to partake in this survey, which we estimate should take around 15 minutes to complete.