The Welsh Pharmacy Board (WPB) held its second meeting of 2018 at the Society’s offices in Pontprennau, Cardiff, on 18 April 2018. Non-board members in attendance at the meeting were Dylan Lloyd Jones, pharmacist at Dudley Taylor Pharmacy, Llandrindod Wells; Paul Bennett, chief executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS); Ash Soni, president of the RPS; and Christopher John, RPS head of workforce development.
Updating the WPB on activities from the Welsh Directorate, Mair Davies, RPS director for Wales said that all key strategic objectives for 2017 had been achieved.
RPS Wales has met with the Welsh government team tasked with drafting the strategic plan for health in Wales, following the Hussey review. RPS Wales also attended a round-table event organised by the assembly’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee to feed in to a subsequent assembly debate on the committee’s recently published report on primary care clusters. Other meetings had been held with the Royal College of Nursing to discuss joint work opportunities, and with key stakeholders including the chief pharmaceutical office for Wales, the chair and chief executive of Health Education and Improvement Wales, the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee (WPC) and the Welsh Pharmacy Partnership (WPP). RPS Wales is working with WPC and WPP to review and update, ‘
Your Care, Your Medicines
’, the vision for pharmacy in Wales.
Work to develop a palliative and end-of-life care policy is ongoing. Meetings have been held with Welsh representatives from Hospice UK and MacMillan, and with other stakeholders including Bethan Tranter, lead pharmacist at the Velindre Trust and the palliative lead at the Royal College of General Practitioners. Member focus groups on palliative care have been held in Carmarthen and St. Asaph. Elen Jones, RPS Wales practice and policy lead, said that the palliative and end-of-life care policy should be finalised and published in October 2018.
In 2018 RPS Wales will campaign for the wellbeing of the Welsh workforce. This includes a demand for pharmacists to have parity of time with other professions for professional development and revalidation; work with key partners to develop a “just culture” to reduce workforce pressures, and development of a suite of services to improve members’ wellbeing and resilience. Mentoring, in particular, was described as a key deliverable for the WPB.
Suzanne Scott-Thomas, chair of the board, said that a meeting had taken place with Chris Jones, interim chair of Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW). This meeting, which was hosted by WPB member Fiona Jones, had been a useful start to the creation of a working relationship with HEIW, showing what pharmacists can and are doing, and how the Society can support the agenda to ensure primary care is sustainable and that the workforce is up to the challenge of facing the “perfect storm” in healthcare. In light of new and emerging roles, Scott-Thomas added, it is “really important that we engage with HEIW” around the Society’s offer on education.
Board member Jamie Hayes asked whether the WPB could “come up with something for HEIW around pharmacists being the answer to the ‘perfect storm’”, to which Scott-Thomas responded that, in her persona view, the message could be that “pharmacy’s up for it”, and that “we collaborate as part of the multidisciplinary team; we’re not a standalone profession.”
Jodie Williamson, professional development and engagement lead at RPS Wales, said that North Wales will now have its own local co-ordinator, and that the role would be advertised shortly. Scott-Thomas noted that Alan Hughes, member of Gogledd Cymru North Local Practice Forum and longstanding steering group lead, was retiring, and sent thanks on behalf of board for Hughes’ work.
John told the board that he and Ian Bates, professor of pharmacy education at University College London’s School of Pharmacy, and education adviser to the English Pharmacy Board, had met with the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC’s) Education Advisory Group on 6 April 2018. Later this year, the GPhC will be consulting on revised initial education and training standards for pharmacists, John said. The GPhC is also consulting on education and training standards for pharmacist independent prescribers.
A UK-wide pharmacy foundation programme has been recommended to Health Education England by the RPS’s Task and Finish group on Career Frameworks and Continuing Professional Development, led by Peter Kopelman, chair of the Society’s Faculty and Education board (FEB). Although the recommendation was made in an England-specific consulation — Facing the facts, shaping the future: a draft health and care workforce strategy for England to 2027 — the foundation programme would apply across the four nations, John said.
To take this forward, Bates will lead a subcommittee of the Task and Finish Group, which will report to the FEB. A UK joint postgraduate pharmacy training board, hosted and stewarded by the RPS, will also be established.
Significant progress towards the development of the proposed programme should be made by September 2018.
Davies noted that this was Phil Parry’s last meeting as a board member, after 25 years’ service. Describing Parry as a “deep thinker whose thoughts have changed the way profession has moved in Wales”, Davies thanked him for his “vast contribution”. Responding, Parry said he had always appreciated the “camaraderie around this table”, and added that he had felt able to be “iconoclastic and difficult” when he felt that such an approach was required: “I would encourage all current and prospective board members not to be afraid if being critical when necessary.”
Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Wales
The date of the next Welsh Pharmacy Board meeting was set for 20 June 2018.