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RPS survey on future of pharmacy after COVID-19 calls for greater use of remote consultations

A virtual conference hosted by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society in June 2020 highlighted the need for better recognition for pharmacy and better technology for the profession to allow for the use of remote consultations.

Sandra Gidley

Source: Nic Bunce / The Pharmaceutical Journal

Gidley said that the Society will approach other organisations about how to work constructively together on the issues highlighted in the survey

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has hosted a summit exploring how lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic can be used to shape the future of pharmacy.

The virtual conference held on 9 June 2020, which was attended by representatives from government, drug manufacturers and bodies from across the pharmacy sector, considered evidence from a survey conducted by the Society, which asked members how they have adapted to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and whether these adaptations could be used to transform the future of pharmacy practice.

The Society said the survey, which received 545 responses, revealed three major themes: better recognition for the profession; further development of digital and technological capabilities, including capacity for remote consultation; and continued use of pharmacists’ clinical expertise.

Sandra Gidley, president of the RPS, said it was “clear” at the summit that there was “strong support for all three themes”.

Gidley added that the Society will now approach other organisations about how to work constructively together on these matters, as the survey revealed “a strong desire that all bodies work together as a united whole”.

“By working together, we can be much more powerful and effective. This builds on a lot of work that Paul Bennett, [chief executive of the RPS], and the country teams have been doing to develop more alliances.”

The summit included representation from more than 30 groups from across the pharmacy sector, including the Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the Company Chemists’ Association, the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, Community Pharmacy Scotland, Community Pharmacy Wales, the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee and the Department of Health and Social Care. 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2020.20208054

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