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European hospital pharmacy group publishes set of professional standards

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) has developed the first professional standards for hospital pharmacy across Europe.

The standards are comprised of 44 statements to guide the practice of hospital pharmacy, including a commitment that all hospitals have a pharmacist with overall responsibility for the best use of medicines and their safe use. The standards also require that all hospital pharmacists have access to patient records. 

The EAHP represents professional pharmacist associations from 34 countries, including the UK’s Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists (GHP).       

“It was exciting to have widespread agreement throughout Europe, not just by hospital pharmacists but equally by the European organisations representing patients and other healthcare practitioners,” says David Miller, the head of GHP’s international delegation.

The task now turns immediately to implementation … but a major onus now falls on health systems to prepare the way for improvement as well

Miller says that the statements set a common measure for what hospital pharmacy practice should be achieving throughout Europe and “allow greater harmonisation of hospital pharmacy practice and support the development of effective EU-wide competencies”.

The standards share a common foundation with those that were published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in 2012. The RPS’s director of professional development Catherine Duggan says the society is “delighted” at the move taken by the EAHP and urged all EU states to adopt the standards.

For some countries the statements will be seen as existing practice but in other countries they will be aspirational.

“The task now turns immediately to implementation … but a major onus now falls on health systems to prepare the way for improvement as well,” says EAHP president Roberto Frontini.



Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.11138559

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  • Roberto Frontini

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