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Autonomous working underpinned by excellence

Prescription for Excellence built on the careful work of previous generations of pharmacists and will serve to support pharmacy in Scotland, which has a world leading pharmacy service and infrastructure. This will happen if we take the chance to deliver pharmaceutical care in new and innovative ways. There will be no ‘red carpet’ and we cannot do this alone.

We must accelerate our ambitions through our professional body to empower pharmacists to work in an autonomous way rather than within historic constraints. This autonomous working must be underpinned by excellence in continued professional development supported by the current Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) Faculty programme and RPS Foundation programme.

I work in a busy community pharmacy. I am an employee not a contractor, as are most of my peers. My interests are focused on the progression of our profession for the good of patients. From my experience of managing case loads, pharmacists have unique skills to offer in this area. I also have a particular interest in supporting the community pharmacy network to deliver this ambition. Using smart technology and online tools to engage with patients and then educating them is an area I would like champion.

Coal face pharmacists already do fantastic work. However with professional support they could do more, become more autonomous and take our profession to the next level. As mentioned in the RPS manifesto, half of all medicines are not used as the prescriber intended. If we empower pharmacists to deliver excellent pharmaceutical care regardless of setting, there cannot be a more compelling argument for pharmacist involvement.

In this context I am staggered that pharmacists do not yet have automatic access to patient records nationally. Without access to these records, as a matter of course, we will never truly integrate into the multidisciplinary team. I will be supporting the RPS campaign to make this happen and it is one of the key reasons I have decided to stand for election.

In professional life one can moan about things or get stuck in and do your best to help make things better. With some trepidation I have chosen the latter course and am therefore proud to stand for election.

Johnathan Laird

Election candidate

Scottish Pharmacy Board

Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2016.20201030

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