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Making pharmacy the first point of contact for patients

Hello my name is Hala Jawad. I have a special interest in public health and improving patient outcomes. I am delighted to be standing for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) English Pharmacy Board elections in 2017.

Pharmacy is experiencing challenging times and I believe it is important to work together with our health professional colleagues across the NHS. We need to collaborate with different healthcare sectors to help support patients. Community pharmacists are the single healthcare professional whose patients have regular and easy access to. I believe this strength needs to be recognised by the NHS funding organisations.

As a GP surgery pharmacist, I find that many services can be introduced to community pharmacy to support improved patient management. Making better use of existing skills and services of community pharmacy to do this can liberate GP time.

It is time to enable community pharmacists to be commissioned to provide more clinical services. While it is indeed disappointing that everything is on hold pending the judicial review, we cannot allow this to hold the profession back from moving forward.

I believe community pharmacists should deliver more clinical services and the presence of community pharmacies plays an essential role in patient safety. I believe that with more work we can support the change in patient attitudes to healthcare such that community pharmacy becomes the first place that patients approach before visiting their GP.

I am totally against Amazon-like services, because this type of service cannot assure that patients are adhering to their medicines and patients will no longer have a friendly, familiar, easily accessible healthcare professional to speak with.

I believe involvement and positive representation on social media is vital for the future of the profession, and I would like to encourage more use of it by supporting pharmacists with these tools.

Despite the challenges, I believe the future of pharmacy is promising. The new roles appearing in practice pharmacy are exciting. We can play a vital role in freeing GPs’ time and act to reduce pressure on hospitals.

I believe my experience, background and infectious enthusiasm will contribute greatly to the RPS.

Hala Jawad

Election candidate, RPS English Pharmacy Board

The candidate letters for the RPS national pharmacy board elections have not been edited by The Pharmaceutical Journal

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202659

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