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Setting standards

The importance of sharing innovation and best practice was stressed at an event organised by the RPS and the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) in July 2014. The event was convened to discuss progress one year on from a Which? report that found community pharmacies were offering unsatisfactory advice to patients 43% of the time. The seminar was a follow-up to a July 2013 joint event held to discuss the Which? findings.

A key theme that emerged in the recent seminar was the importance of improving skills and training for entire pharmacy team, including support staff. Pharmacists also shared examples of the action they had taken to improve services.

At the event, Duncan Rudkin, chief executive of the GPhC, shared his thoughts about the complementary roles of professional standards and regulatory standards in driving improvement in services for patients and the public. A joint statement published by the RPS and GPhC outlines our roles and ambitions in our respective work on standards and I hope this will be helpful for pharmacy teams in practice (this can be found in the news section of the RPS website www.rpharms.com).

July 2014 has also seen the launch of the beta test of the online Quality Systems resource, created by the RPS professional support department in collaboration with the Pharmacy Forum of Northern Ireland, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK and a diverse group of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.  

This resource is designed to help pharmacy teams make improvements to their practice through use of practical and tested models and activities. We will continue to develop PharmacyQS.com to reflect your needs, and so your feedback on the resource is welcome.

We have also provided an update of our hospital pharmacy standards and worked with members of the profession to develop the latest edition of ‘Medicines, ethics and practice’ (MEP). It has been written by the RPS support team and guided by feedback received from RPS members and the MEP 38 advisory panel, which this year includes 22 pharmacists from different backgrounds and sectors who volunteered their time and expertise to ensure the guide supports pharmacists in their professional decision-making. 

The highlights and new features of the MEP, which has just been distributed to members, are discussed by the RPS support team.

Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our outgoing president Martin Astbury, who led the RPS during its start-up and growth as the professional body for pharmacy. This has been a pivotal time of change for the profession, our members, the RPS and the Pharmaceutical Press. Many thanks Martin from us all for your leadership during this period.

 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066039

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