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Protect clinical services by collecting the evidence

By Kate Towers

The autumn residential symposium of the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association, entitled “Progress in practice”, was held in Daventry on 19–21 November 2010. Kate Towers reports


“I’m really concerned that clinical pharmacy and clinical pharmacy services are going to go backwards over the next two or three years because of financial cuts. … I’m being told that clinical services are being perceived as a luxury and that there is no evidence for these services. For the first time in 30 years I feel like we could be going backwards.”

These concerns came from the audience at a panel discussion on progressing the profession in challenging times, held at the United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacy Association’s autumn symposium. So, how did the panel respond?

Ian Bates, UKCPA professional secretary, believes that building an evidence base for the profession is one way to tackle the funding cuts and that ensuring research is built into everyday clinical practice is essential: “It’s down to all of us to publish and to disseminate [research] and to be an enquiry driven workforce — that is something culturally we’ve got to establish.”  

Catherine Duggan, director of professional development and support at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, agreed: “We are going to move from commissioning based on targets to commissioning based on outcomes and for that you need an evidence base. Many other professions are very solid in the evidence they are able to present.”

She told the audience that compiling this evidence base is a priority for the RPS, which is working with the UKCPA and other organisations to build a library of evidence supporting pharmacy services.  

“We want everyone to be able to post their evidence somewhere,” she added. “It might look, in the first instance, a bit like a sock drawer that has been tipped out for sorting but, over time, I think this will become a vital and useful resource for the profession.”

UKCPA chairman Chris Green, said that the UKCPA would continue to set priorities for clinical pharmacy and be a platform for sharing best practice.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist URI: 11049261

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  • Chris Green, Catherine Duggan, Chris Acomb and Ian Bates

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