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English Pharmacy Board meeting: 22 June 2017

Members of the English Pharmacy Board got together at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society London headquarters for the third  meeting of 2017, which took place on 22 June 2017. They discussed dataset requirements for populating patient medical records, the transfer of local practice forum bank accounts to the RPS, and the Society’s campaign on antimicrobial stewardship which will be launched at the September annual conference.

Members of the English Pharmacy Board during the June 2017 meeting

Source: Corrinne Burns / The Pharmaceutical Journal

The English Pharmacy Board, including new member Nadia Burkhari, gathered at the RPS headquarters in London for their third meeting of the year. From left to right: Martin Astbury, Mahendra Patel, Ashok Soni, Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani, Tracey Thornley, Catherine Armstrong, Dave Branford, Elizabeth Butterfield, Claire Anderson, Sandra Gidley, David Carter, Sharon ‘Sibby’ Buckle, Robbie Turner, Aamer Safdar and Nadia Bukhari

The third English Pharmacy Board (EPB) meeting of 2017 took place on 22 June 2017, at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) London headquarters. Among those attending was newly elected board member Nadia Bukhari, senior teaching fellow in pharmacy practice at University College London. The meeting also saw the return of re-elected board members Martin Astbury, Sandra Gidley, Ashok Soni and Mahendra Patel.

Open business began with the election of Sandra Gidley to the position of board chair, with Sharon ‘Sibby’ Buckle elected to hold the role of vice-chair. Gidley and Buckle’s posts also mean that they will represent the English board on the RPS Assembly. Following their election four additional board members were elected to the Assembly: David Carter and Sultan ‘Sid’ Dajani, who will serve for two years, and Mahendra Patel and Ashok Soni who will both serve for one year.

Public affairs update and consultations report

Briefing the board on public affairs activity during quarter two, John Lunny, public affairs manager at the RPS, explained that the sudden announcement of the UK general election had led to some items (a ministerial visit to a care home, for example) being temporarily put on hold. However, the RPS had produced a general election toolkit, aimed at English candidates for office, which explained the skills of pharmacists and explained how policymakers can support greater use of those skills in the community.

Working with the All-Party Pharmacy Group (APPG), the RPS offered expert advice on draft recommendations for pharmacists in GP surgeries, minor ailments services, access to community pharmacies, the Murray review and digital pharmacy.

Heidi Wright, English practice and policy lead at the RPS, listed the consultations recently responded to by the EPB: the APPG on Primary Care and Public Health inquiry into managing demand in primary care: the case for a national strategy; a draft from the National Insitute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) scoping on provision and support for adult carers; a Department of Health query on allowing schools to hold spare adrenaline auto-injectors, and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) consultation on religion, personal values and beliefs in pharmacy practice.

Information Management and Technology Strategy Group

The Pharmacy Digital Forum group, chaired by Sibby Buckle, met on 20 April 2017. At this meeting, said Buckle, the group discussed with NHS Digital the dataset requirements needed for community pharmacists to populate patient medical records, and ultimately have a fully interoperable system sharing patient medical details across health professions. Buckle added that the newly-created Community Pharmacy IT Group is also looking at this issue.

RPS campaigns, programmes and priorities

Christopher John, workforce development lead, said that support tools for local practice forums (LPFs) were currently in development, and that the transfer of LPF bank accounts to the RPS was underway. Work on both of these deliverables is set to be completed by the end of 2017, by which time success measures for the new format of local engagement will also have been identified. Robbie Turner, director for England, said that while initially there had been some concern from LPFs about the transfer of bank accounts, where this process has already happened people have been happy with the result. Turner added that this helps to ensure money is protected for LPFs.

A professional development and engagement lead has been recruited and will start work at the RPS on 9 August 2017. The role will focus on support members to network professionally at a local level.

Turner said that the RPS Innovators’ Forum was being revamped. From September, evidence sessions will run on relevant subjects (for example, urgent and emergency care). The RPS should, Turner said, develop a suite of case studies of pharmacists doing innovative work — showcasing roles in this way this helps with policy and advocacy work.

Campaign updates

The RPS will launch its campaign on antimicrobial stewardship at the annual conference, on 3 and 4 September 2017. This will showcase how pharmacists are contributing to a planned-for 50% reduction in inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by 2020. To date, campaign objectives have been agreed and a timeline of activities (including a media campaign, site visits by policymakers and creation of resources and toolkits) between September and December 2017 has been developed.

Objectives for the upcoming campaign on mental health will be developed in the latter half of 2017, and plans are in place for a short member-facing campaign reflecting the success of the RPS’s work getting pharmacists into GP surgeries. Objectives for a 2018 campaign on diabetes are still to be developed.


Tom Byrne, secretary of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association, presented the association’s latest report, ‘Aspirations and expectations of pharmacy students’ (previously presented at the Scottish Pharmacy Board meeting on 26 April 2017).

Group picture of the members of the English Pharmacy Board for the RPS Antimicrobial Stewardship campaign

Source: Courtesy of Mahendra Patel

Board members, and guest Tom Byrne of the British Pharmaceutical Student’s Association, showed their support for Mahendra Patel’s charitable initiative, #GivAPound

Finally, board members made donations of £1 each to Mahendra Patel’s new charitable initiative, GivAPound, which supports six health charities including Pharmacist Support.

 • The next meeting of the English Pharmacy Board is scheduled for 5 October 2017.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20203184

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Supplementary images

  • Members of the English Pharmacy Board during the June 2017 meeting
  • Group picture of the members of the English Pharmacy Board for the RPS Antimicrobial Stewardship campaign

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