The Pharmacists’ Defence Association (PDA) has submitted a 17-page contribution to the commission on the future of pharmacy professional leadership and encourages pharmacists to engage in the overall discussion.

The association wants to ensure that the voice of its members is heard in the discussions about the future of professional leadership, which has been initiated by the four government Chief Pharmaceutical Officers.

The PDA has published its first formal contribution to the commission, in its response it raised concern on the current exercise is being rushed and a call for the review to be conducted in a more sensible timeframe, one which enables the engagement of the whole profession.

It has urged on being supportive of the creation of a Royal College of Pharmacists to take custodianship of the training and education for pharmacists and to set the requisite standards, whilst still relying upon the profession’s regulators to undertake the accreditation role.

The association also believes that there is a need to create a wider leadership arrangement that enables all credible pharmacy organisations to collaborate and provide leadership on common agenda issues, whilst allowing them to maintain their points of difference on other issues, as well as enabling them to continue to deliver separate and distinct functions. That the profession’s leadership structures need to be able to respond to a much wider agenda than just that of the four national governments and their NHS organisations.

Mark Koziol, PDA Chairman said, “The commission must recognise that anointing one body with the name ‘the professional leadership body’ does not and will not make it a leadership body.

“Leadership depends on the existence of ‘followers’ and if a body is to have followers, then it must be relevant to practitioners, making a beneficial difference to their lives.

“We believe that a Royal College of Pharmacists should be created which would focus upon the stewardship of education and training standards of practitioners at undergraduate and postgraduate level. With a narrower focus, the Royal College of Pharmacists could become more relevant to pharmacists by supporting the development of their future roles. As well as improving its chances of success, this would have the added benefit of resulting in a much lower membership fee.”

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