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Effects of NHS cuts on hospital pharmacy focus of new campaign

by News team

Effects of NHS cuts on hospital pharmacy and its impact on the profession and patient care is the subject of a new Royal Pharmaceutical Society monitoring campaign.

The RPS is appealing to pharmacists at all levels to email evidence of the effects of the cuts and any resulting changes in working practices — including out-of-hours cover.

The RPS also plans to carry out a survey of members to build a picture of vacancy levels and the depth of spending cuts on pharmacy services. It pledges to take up any concerns with commissioners and providers.

The Society also announced that, later this year, it plans to publish guidance that will include a set of minimum standards expected of pharmacy services and which will be made available to pharmacists, managers and commissioners.

The initiative, particularly the move to create minimum patient safety standards for pharmacy services, was welcomed by the president of the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists David Miller.

He said: “The more evidence we have [about the effects of the cuts and other changes] the better.”

He added: “Before, when the RPS looked at standards it took a potentially punitive approach because they had two hats on. Now in their new role they can take a purely patient safety focus.”

Chairman of the RPS English Pharmacy Board Lindsey Gilpin said: “The RPS will also work to ensure that there is a safe reporting process (whistle blowing) for employees and locums who are placed in unprofessional situations. I would urge all hospital pharmacists to let the RPS know of any concerns they have via the dedicated email address.”

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11067397

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