The increase in Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) in the early 1990s was associated with the widespread use of clindamycin, cephalosporins and quinolones. A nationwide drive to implement strict antimicrobial stewardship guidelines has changed the nature of the antibiotics associated with C. difficile. As a result, in NHS England and the Heart of England Foundation Trust (HEFT), C. difficile incidence has decreased by over 75% from 2007 to 2017, because ...
Following comments made by the Associated Press in the United States that dental flossing is a waste of time, there was a media-storm, leaving confusion in its wake. It is hoped that this comment will clarify matters for colleagues in pharmacy.
Homelessness is a continuing social concern across the UK. In Glasgow there are an estimated 500 people sleeping rough on the streets at any one time. In England the number of people sleeping rough has risen consecutively for the past 6 years
RPS board members must champion our aspirationsSubscription
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) may struggle to engage its membership, particularly those early in their careers. To find solutions, it is natural to look to the elder statesmen of the profession. However, the next generation of pharmacists are watching this RPS election with a keen eye. Although I have no vote, I hope to see board members elected who will take account of our aspirations and expectations. Undoubtedly, the profession and the Society face mounting challenges and ...
Two-thirds of people with asthma in the UK say poor air quality makes their asthma worse, which puts them at higher risk of an asthma attack.
Hello my name is Hala Jawad. I have a special interest in public health and improving patient outcomes. I am delighted to be standing for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board elections in 2017.
Preparing our future pharmacistsSubscription
The profession is undergoing uncertainty and change but this represents an opportunity for us to promote and embed new ways of working.
The recent letters about The Pharmaceutical Journal (Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:99) raise two issues: the organisational structure of the journal and its editorial content. They are separate ...
Members of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society national pharmacy boards should be capable professionals who are reputable and are willing to make changes for the benefit for the profession. We need our representatives on the boards to make a positive impact on our profession and perspective.
Pharmacists working together to alleviate stressSubscription
Pharmacist front-line working is increasingly stressful. Unfortunately there are a multitude of external pressures that we have little or no control over. But I believe there is one area we can control: how we work with our fellow pharmacists.
Pharmacy, alchemy and endless possibilitiesSubscription
“This is alchemy, and this is the office of Vulcan; he is the apothecary and chemist of the medicine.”
Hello my name is Hala and I am passionate about pharmacy. I’m grateful and honoured to be nominated for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board elections.
Make pharmacy a greater professionSubscription
I am Altaf Vaiya, a community pharmacist for almost 10 years. From a young age, I felt proud mentioning to my friends that my father was a pharmacist as the title of being a pharmacist felt like an honor to me. This inspired me to follow my dad’s footsteps and with this I just managed to pass my MPharm degree. Having struggled throughout my studies, I am sure many of my lecturers were surprised when I graduated. Nevertheless, on that day I felt I was being entrusted with a responsibility, ...
As the Royal Pharmaceutical Society enters its latest elections, pharmacists are being seen in new and emerging roles. These are being seen by some as more exciting and rewarding than some current practice. However, I am concerned at the continuing theme that some current roles, particularly that of community pharmacists, are not seen as having the same status or importance.
Don’t tell me to work harder!Subscription
Everybody wants more for less. Employers want pharmacists to offer more services but give us fewer staff. The government want us to make “efficiency savings” yet offer expertise without remuneration. Locum agencies are offering bookings at £16 an hour instead of actively promoting our skills to potential clients. Doctors are expecting practice pharmacists to sign prescriptions, run clinics, promote cost-effective prescribing, manage repeat requests, etc, but only pay a fraction of what ...
The RPS must stay in touch with the professionSubscription
Since announcing that I am standing as a candidate for the RPS English Pharmacy Board I have been overwhelmed by the response. Delighted at the positive support and encouragement from people that I respect and trust, but shocked at the number of those who have disconnected from the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) because they feel that it no longer offers anything valuable to them.
Working to embed and develop our professionSubscription
I have worked in hospital pharmacy, managed community pharmacies and led medicines optimisation services for clinical commissioning groups. I currently work for NHS England in Greater Manchester, managing pharmacy contracts, ensuring delivery of quality patient services and developing new services. I also regularly locum in community pharmacy.
It is vital as pharmacists we remain confident in practising to the highest standards at all times but also to be valued — more today than ever before.
“Joe Bloggs” pharmacist fighting for pharmacistsSubscription
Pharmacy cuts, decreasing salaries, remote supervision and corporate employer forced targets (e.g. medicines use reviews) threaten pharmacy’s future and the safety of our patients.
Collaboration is key to our futureSubscription
The recently published ‘Next steps on the NHS Five Year Forward View’ (5YFV) by NHS England provides a helpful overview of the 5YFW journey so far, shows examples of what’s worked, and clearly maps out the future direction of the NHS. So rather than dipping into the executive summary or doing a search ...
I recently attended the ‘Quality for patients: pharmacy practice now and in the future’ conference on 22 March 2017, hosted by NHS England. I was looking forward to a positive, constructive day celebrating and showcasing all that is best among our profession, but I came away appalled by the attitude of the chief pharmaceutical officer for England, Keith Ridge.
Helping to develop our professionSubscription
Having worked in community, hospital and academia, I understand the challenges the pharmacy profession faces, but there is a great opportunity for us to develop new ways of working to further enhance the profession.
Having read the announcement from the NHS and the term “waste which is in the system” (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, March 2017), I was surprised to read that sun creams fall within this category.
Community pharmacists are repeatedly asked for recommendations to reduce the risk of catching a cold. The advertising of novel products such as nasal sprays, gargles, face masks and a plethora of potential protective botanical products can confuse as to what really might be useful and appropriate.
I read with interest your news story ‘Researchers find metal impurities in vaccines, but European regulator challenges study’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:76).
Chemoprevention in British women is inadequateSubscription
We write to outline our concerns that breast cancer prevention strategies are not being implemented to their fullest potential in the UK.
Sunscreen should not be seen as a beauty productSubscription
Melanoma UK is deeply concerned about NHS England’s plans to remove a number of medicines from being prescribable which they deem ‘low priority’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 29 March 2017). The suggestion that sunscreen has “little clinical value” is ...
I have recently retired from practice but if I were still practising in community pharmacy today, I would have to decide whether to look for a new sector of practice or wait until I was ousted from my post because I have a moral objection to supplying emergency hormonal contraception (EHC).
The story of William Wake’s career is heart warming (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:111), but contains a detail that reveals the failure of leadership in pharmacy.
I am surprised Terry Maguire says in his letter that community pharmacists should avoid the medicalisation of life when we are already treating other diseases that are also prevalent with increasing age, such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, cancer, arthritis and dementia (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2017;298:100).
A quick intervention recommendation by community pharmacists for patients using inhalersSubscription
Many pharmacists are probably busy reviewing inhaler use and technique as part of their medicines use reviews and new medicine service processes for patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
For the seventh year running, the National Paediatric Diabetes Audit (NPDA) shows children living with diabetes are being helped to manage their blood glucose levels (HbA1c) and so reduce the risk of developing ...
We have come a long way from the early days of the oral contraceptive pill, where the doctor would only prescribe it to women who were married, and then told them soon after that it was time to stop it and have babies. But in most countries we have not come far enough.
Funding cuts are a threat to the publicSubscription
Pharmacists must be professional perfectionists and activists in the pursuit of excellence, but the reality is that mistakes and accidents occur when we are busy, under pressure, tired or distracted.
Smoking is the biggest preventable cause of ill health in the UK. Although overall death rates from smoking are falling, it continues to be a burden on the health of our population in Hywel Dda, Pembrokeshire, Wales. Apart from causing ill health in people, smoking also places a great ...
Developing guidelines for the safe handling of cytotoxic drugs in academic research laboratoriesSubscription
The bench-to-bedside approach to healthcare involves a continuous iterative process whereby practice-based challenges are examined, researched and addressed in an effort to optimise patient care. This is supported through fostering collaborations and partnerships between healthcare professionals and academic researchers.
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