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Vision for Pharmacy Professional Practice becoming a reality: RPS publishes one year on report

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The publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan is identified as one of the key milestones achieved since the launch of the vision 

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in England has published a review of its 10-year Vision for Pharmacy Professional Practice that was launched in December 2022 in collaboration with The King’s Fund.

The ‘one year on’ vision report highlighted key milestones achieved in the first 12 months since its publication as well as opportunities for further progress.

It identified the publication of the NHS Long Term Workforce Plan, which recognises the significant role that pharmacists play in healthcare and commits to growing and expanding the pharmacy workforce, as one of the positive policy developments made since the launch of the vision.

The development of a Vision for Community Pharmacy by Community Pharmacy England, the Nuffield Trust and The King’s Fund; work on digital integration to enable community pharmacists to update a clinical record; the launch of Pharmacy First scheme; and the publication of the public consultation of pharmacy supervision were other key milestones mentioned in the report.

Tase Oputu, Chair of the RPS’s English Pharmacy Board, agreed that significant progress has been made in the last 12 months, but also emphasised that there is still more to do to “transform, unlock and enable the full breadth of opportunities for pharmacy teams.”

She said: “Additional investment in the community pharmacy sector, development of prescribing pilots, and further digital integrations are just some examples of the vision becoming a reality.

“There has been some fantastic work across the profession, as well as collaboration with pharmacy organisations, professional bodies and others to drive this forward.”

Oputu added that workforce shortages continue to pose a significant challenge in the pharmacy sector, combined with a constrained funding model.

The report noted that these challenges have resulted in closures, subsequently reducing patient accessibility in certain areas.

RPS Director for England, James Davies commented: “The development of RPS policy on separation of dispensing and prescribing helps to move forward our Vision for professional practice.

“The RPS has continued to highlight the pressures that pharmacy teams face and campaigned to remove the prescription charges that contribute to health inequalities.

“We have made some positive progress in 2023, but there is still much to be done across all sectors of practice to help make this vision a reality for patients.”

The report is structured around the six main themes identified in the Vision, which are:

  1. Supporting people and communities to live well for longer
  2. Enabling people to live well with the medicines that they take
  3. Enhancing patient experience and access to care
  4. Our pharmacy people
  5. Data, innovation, science and research
  6. Leadership, collaboration and integration

“The profession is making progress in the right direction, but continued and sustained action is needed,” the report added.

 

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