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UKPPLAB to elevate pharmacist satisfaction and enhance patient safety

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PDA advocates pharmacist autonomy in professional leadership amid CPhO influence

In a bid to bolster professional leadership within the pharmacy sector, the four government Chief Pharmaceutical Officers (CPhOs) have embarked on a significant initiative, forming the UK Pharmacy Professional Leadership Advisory Board (UKPPLAB).

In a recent communication, all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians received confirmation of the board members selected by the CPhOs, alongside a note from the board’s appointed chair, who was chosen collectively by the four CPhOs and reports directly to the CPhO for England.

Over three years, the 21-member Board will implement recommendations from the UK Commission on Pharmacy Professional Leadership’s report aimed to enhance professional fulfillment among pharmacists while simultaneously augmenting patient safety standards.

This announcement also follows with the appointment of Sir Hugh Taylor as its Independent Chair and the appointment of Independent Expert Members who expressed his delight over the role’s “potential to lead and support collaboration across the professions in the UK”.

However, the move has been met with cautious optimism from the Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA), urging the new board to uphold transparency and openness to garner trust among pharmacists.

The introduction of this government-backed initiative lies in the recommendations of a commission funded by the government, wherein the CPhOs played a pivotal role.

Serving as advisors, selectors, and recipients of the commission’s final report, the CPhOs have now taken the reins in creating a leadership advisory board.

The composition of the UKPPLAB underscores the involvement of the CPhOs in selecting the board’s chair, participating in interviews, and endorsing independent board members, whose remuneration will be facilitated by the NHS.

While acknowledging the stature of the four CPhOs within the NHS, the PDA emphasizes the need for pharmacists to have a decisive say in their professional leadership, separate from employer or governmental influence.

A critical point of contention raised by the PDA is related to transparency in the selection process and concerns have been voiced regarding the association of board members with specific organizations and the lack of clarity regarding their roles and affiliations.

The PDA advocates for full disclosure of interests, remuneration arrangements, and organizational affiliations of all board members to ensure transparency and accountability.

In light of these concerns, the PDA has also called for greater transparency, urging the publication of eligibility criteria, membership statistics, and funding sources for organizations represented on the board.

Additionally, individual board members are urged to declare their interests comprehensively to provide stakeholders with a clear understanding of the board’s composition and potential influences underscoring the necessity for transparency and accountability in shaping the future of pharmacy practice in the UK.

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