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  • My fitness-to-practise treatment was nerve-wracking but fairSubscription

    15 JAN 2020

    In her blog, ‘My horrific encounter with ‘fitness to practise’’, pharmacist Sarah Seddon shares the harrowing experience she had with the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and she was only a witness in the case.

  • Developing sustainable regional networks for pharmacy research: The Great North Pharmacy Research CollaborativeSubscription

    10 JAN 2020

    To help grow and support pharmacy research activity, in 2016, a group of pharmacists from Durham University received institutional funding to develop a local postgraduate pharmacy research conference. The conference aimed to give postgraduate pharmacists an opportunity to showcase projects they had worked on since graduation, which included research conducted as part of doctoral or Master’s degree studies, audits, service evaluations, quality improvement projects and other work conducted ...

  • Pharmacists can help patients get the most out of their vitamin D supplementsSubscription

    8 JAN 2020

    I was delighted to read Lisa Jamieson’s opinion piece ‘‘It’s not just medicines that ...

  • It's nothing new that diet and nutrition influence healthSubscription

    18 DEC 2019

    I wholeheartedly support the view expressed by Lisa Jamieson in her article: ‘It’s not just medicines that improve health — pharmacists need a better understanding of nutrition’. If sound and intelligent advice was routinely ...

  • Antimicrobials in hospital — a development in advanced e-prescribing analyticsSubscription

    12 DEC 2019

    Rising antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a recognised threat to global health. There is a perception that poor prescribing practices contribute to the problem, although data confirming this are limited. Reliable data on the quality of antimicrobial prescribing in UK hospitals are not available, with hospital drug-purchasing data most often being used ...

  • Community pharmacy careers are not inferior to those in other sectorsSubscription

    4 DEC 2019

    I read Ankit Thapar’s response to ‘Those “timid about inclusion” will not succeed, delegates hear at RPS’s first BAME event’ with interest.

  • Developing a co-produced e-learning programme to support marginalised medically underserved patients Subscription

    26 NOV 2019

    There have been recent calls for the NHS to pursue a value-based healthcare system, one that is “equitable, sustainable and transparent”[1]. However, promoting a culture based on the values of patient-centred care can be challenging. One notable example in pharmacy ...

  • The government must ease and encourage medical cannabis researchSubscription

    20 NOV 2019

    It’s been over a year since the rules were changed to allow clinicians to prescribe cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) but very little has changed.

  • Individualised approach to care reduces overtreatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in frail older people Subscription

    6 NOV 2019

    Intensive treatment with insulin and sulfonylureas in older people with low HbA1c (<53mmol/mol) can increase the risk of hypoglycaemia, morbidity and mortality. Older people are less likely to benefit from the long-term protective effects of good glycaemic control and are at risk of inappropriate polypharmacy owing to co-morbidities. 

  • Community pharmacies will not lose out in the new contractSubscription

    30 OCT 2019

    I write regarding Hemant Patel’s article ‘For community pharmacists, the new contract does not add up’, published in The Pharmaceutical Journal on 27 September 2019. I need to correct some inaccuracies in Patel’s narrative on the new community pharmacy contractual framework.

  • Wales' principles to support people to take their medicines in their homesSubscription

    24 OCT 2019

    The All Wales Heads of Adults’ Services (AWASH) Group and NHS Wales, in collaboration with their partner organisations, have launched a set of high-level principles to encourage better medicines support for people who are receiving care at home.

  • Trust-wide microbiology electronic referral system supports antimicrobial stewardship Subscription

    22 OCT 2019

    Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) can be defined as the approach to promoting and monitoring judicious use of antimicrobials to preserve their future effectiveness. With demands on microbiological clinical services at Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals increasing over recent years, requests for clinical advice could no longer be facilitated by a direct telephone call from clinical teams to the pathology team. Paper referral forms used by pharmacists for AMS review were no longer ...

  • Highlighting shoulder injury related to vaccine administrationSubscription

    16 OCT 2019

    I would like to highlight an important, though rarely discussed or reported, issue: shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). I implore any pharmacists who offer travel or flu vaccinations to take note.

  • Marking the first World Patient Safety DaySubscription

    16 SEP 2019

    Patient safety is a global challenge and, in May 2019, the 72nd World Health Assembly — through which World Health Organization (WHO) is governed by its member states — agreed that a World Patient Safety Day would be commemorated annually each year on 17 September, commencing in 2019.

  • Reviewing the safe and appropriate prescribing of antipsychotic depotsSubscription

    4 SEP 2019

    Antipsychotic medicine is prescribed to treat many mental health conditions, alleviate suffering and improve daily functioning[1].

  • The new NHS Patient Safety Strategy has a big hole in itSubscription

    16 AUG 2019

    In August 2018, I expressed my concern in Clinical Pharmacist that the NHS, described as ‘an organisation with a memory’, was losing its patient safety memory and not addressing many important risks effectively[1]. Other reports from the Care Quality Commission

  • Evaluating the first NHS-funded sore throat test and treat service in the UKSubscription

    14 AUG 2019

    In Wales, people with a sore throat may be offered advice and symptomatic treatment free of charge in community pharmacies through the common ailment service (CAS). However, antibiotics cannot be supplied and this can limit patients’ perceived value of the service. As a result, some patients continue to seek a GP appointment when they have a sore throat.

  • Low rates for locum pharmacists are unfairSubscription

    26 JUL 2019

    I happened to be in Barnet, North London, recently, and I popped into the local pharmacy for a couple things. To my delight, the locum pharmacist on duty there had been a student of mine a few years ago at the UCL School of Pharmacy.

  • Pharmacy's growing role in travel health vaccinationSubscription

    17 JUL 2019

    As newly appointed chair of the Pharmacy Professional Group of the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), I represent more than 500 pharmacists who provide specialist travel health and travel medicine services globally. Also, as a member of the leadership council, I also represent the voice of pharmacy and am instrumental in the development of working with other professions. The position was established to characterise the role the pharmacist plays in travel medicine globally ...

  • Pharmacy Schools Council on the GPhC's conclusions to the pharmacy education consultationSubscription

    11 JUL 2019

    This letter is in response to the news story ‘GPhC set to confirm it will require universities to offer integrated pharmacy programmes’.

  • Taking an STP approach to improving the pharmacy workforceSubscription

    10 JUL 2019

    Developing a sustainable, high quality pharmacy workforce is essential to delivering services in a complex and evolving healthcare environment, particularly as more opportunities arise for pharmacists to take extended roles.

  • Creating a coaching culture to support staff wellbeing in an NHS trustSubscription

    26 JUN 2019

    More is being expected of trainee healthcare professionals; clinical educators must enable trainees to feel empowered and encourage them to seek their own solutions, as opposed to professionals telling them what they should do[1].

  • Specials system in English primary care no longer delivers best care or value for moneySubscription

    19 JUN 2019

    We are writing in response to the news story ‘Pharmacy negotiators say centralised system for specials procurement could “drive down quality”’ (The Pharmaceutical Journal online, 15 May 2019).

  • Reducing the impact of asthma treatment on climate change Subscription

    12 JUN 2019

    In April 2019, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) published a patient decision aid for inhaler choice in asthma treatment, including comparisons of the devices’ environmental impact as well as usual clinical considerations

  • Celebrating the class of 1979 Portsmouth pharmacy graduatesSubscription

    11 JUN 2019

    This year, 2019, marks 40 years since the 1976 intake at the University of Portsmouth School of Pharmacy finished their course and began their preregistration year. If anyone is free to meet up in Portsmouth on 13 July or 14 July 2019, please correspond with Martyn Hudson at Martyn Hudson, member, Royal Pharmaceutical Society

  • Antibiotic pollution and lack of regulation will have dire global consequencesSubscription

    10 JUN 2019

    Given the hot topic of antimicrobial resistance, one could only be shocked at reading New Scientist’s article ‘How antibiotic resistance is driven by pharmaceutical pollution’ (22 May 2019), which details the prolific dumping of antibiotic ...

  • Concern over new flushing guidance for small volume intravenous infusionsSubscription

    30 MAY 2019

    In November 2018, I raised concerns about incomplete and underdosed intravenous (IV) infusions in Clinical Pharmacist[1]. On this occasion, I am writing to raise concern over the National Infusion and Vascular Access Society’s (NIVAS’s) new ...

  • Pharmacy staff should be aware of drug misusers' methods of extracting opioids from OTC products

    28 MAY 2019

    Misuse of codeine can cause serious harm. There are restrictions around use of the medicine, but people still find ways to misuse ...

  • Reunion for the University of Manchester pharmacy class of 1979Subscription

    17 MAY 2019

    A group of graduates of the University of Manchester pharmacy class of 1979 are planning a reunion weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of our graduation and share memories of Manchester; stories of our lives, families, and careers; and plans for retirement.

  • E-cigarettes have no place in pharmacySubscription

    16 MAY 2019By

    I am one of those people who cannot tolerate the idea of people using nicotine in the long term. Louise Ross, a smoking cessation consultant, in ‘Should pharmacy sell e-cigarettes and encourage people to vape?’, suggests that e-cigarettes can be used to sustain an addiction for life — this opinion is astonishing. Nicotine ...

  • Nothing beats practical experience during pharmacy trainingSubscription

    14 MAY 2019

    I realise that present-day requirements for pharmacy education may be very different from those in my day at the end of the Second World War and in the 1950s, but, having read comments on the General Pharmaceutical Council’s proposal to integrate practical placements throughout a five-year pharmacy degree, I think some general principles might apply.

  • Help us understand current practice in cold and flu management in community pharmacySubscription

    8 MAY 2019By The Pharmaceutical Journal

    The Pharmaceutical Journal recently emailed members, inviting them to complete a short survey that seeks to better understand current practice in relation to the management of cold and flu in community pharmacy. Your responses will inform an editorially independent learning campaign.

  • Piloting an undergraduate student-led health check serviceSubscription

    8 MAY 2019

    There is a growing focus on the development of communication and clinical skills during undergraduate pharmacy programmes; this has been demonstrated particularly by the General Pharmaceutical Council’s recent consultation on initial education and training

  • Reducing cephalosporin-related supply errorsSubscription

    2 MAY 2019

    Cephalosporins are a class of beta-lactam antimicrobials that exert bactericidal effects through disruption of the bacterial cell wall. These broad-spectrum antimicrobials have played a core role in the treatment of severe infections since their launch in the latter half of the 20th century. Early generation cephalosporins provide robust coverage of Gram-positive bacteria, while the newer third- and fourth-generations offer additional Gram-negative coverage, including Pseudomonas ...

  • Remember that some optometrists are independent prescribers tooSubscription

    26 APR 2019

    Would you be surprised if a patient handed you a prescription written by an optometrist? Would you know what to do? Optometrists tell us that some pharmacists do not realise that some optometrists are qualified as independent prescribers.

  • Learning from Gosport: RPS standards for clinical checks of inpatient prescriptions are inadequateSubscription

    16 APR 2019

    ‘Learnings from Gosport: Sharing pharmacy themes, current practice and key resources’ — published jointly by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), the General Pharmaceutical Council and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK — states that the “RPS standards for hospital pharmacy services … set out what’s expected of a quality service”

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