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Providing the tools you need to help patients

The Society has been experiencing a period of intense activity during the past few weeks as we continue in our efforts to provide members with the information and tools they need to keep abreast of the latest important developments in the profession, for the good of their patients and the public who depend on pharmacy.

Some of this material, of course, is generated by members themselves, with the RPS acting as a conduit to ensure it is made available in a suitable form to as wide an audience as necessary and appropriate. Some of it is generated and developed by experts in various fields working within the Society itself and some is commissioned from outside.

I was delighted to see the publication of the “Professional standards for public health practice for pharmacy” in March.This is the first time pharmacists, pharmacy teams, pharmacies and commissioners have been given a full set of professional standards that will drive excellence in the design and delivery of public health pharmacy practice in England and Wales. I would be pleased to receive feedback on how you and your teams are using them, or intend to use them, to improve the services delivered for the public.

A major initiative recently was the publication of the RPS’s “Handbook for homecare services in England”, designed to assist the implementation of the Society’s “Professional standards for homecare services”.

This is an increasingly important area for pharmacists and other healthcare professionals. As you will already know, the homecare sector is growing rapidly, with 200,000 patients in the UK now using these

services and, of course, with an ageing population, there will be many more in the years to come. It is vitally important, therefore, that we, alongside other healthcare professions, develop homecare services which are able to meet patient demands and ensure they receive the best possible care.

The RPS believes that patients receiving homecare services must receive consistently high quality services so they can get the best outcomes from their medicines. Multiple agencies need to work together to ensure the seamless provision of this care whenever and wherever it is needed. Homecare teams are encouraged to use our professional networks and to share best practice to enable the continual improvement of homecare services.We are, after all, here to help.

Reflecting upon the power of excellent team work, I had the privilege to hear first hand on a recent visit about the integrated services provided by community and clinical pharmacists, together with their nursing and GP colleagues, at the Old School Surgery in Bristol.Their powerful team approach has led to efficiency and effectiveness of service provision, high quality services, better use of resources and, of particular note, a real focus on vulnerable patients.This is achieved through transparency, mutual trust and confidence, team work, sharing information, and a clear, collective focus on patients and the public and doing the very best for them.

This is a not only an excellent model but a replicable one, in my view, and one I shall be highlighting with our GP colleagues at Royal College of General Practitioners. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 20065512

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