Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

Maree ToddArticle by Maree Todd MSP, highlighting the issues of patients with hypertension as part of Hypertension Awareness Month and the important role pharmacists play in supporting them. Before becoming an MSP in 2016, Maree was a pharmacist at New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital in Inverness.

This week I held a member’s debate in the Scottish Parliament to mark world Hypertension month.

I was pleased to be able to highlight the condition as a pharmacist turned parliamentarian, particularly since I am co-convenor of the cross-party group on heart and stroke. I wanted to remind everyone that this condition can be diagnosed with a very simple test, and it’s easy to treat. Around 30% of adults in Scotland have high blood pressure. It’s very common indeed. So why do we need to raise awareness about it? Read more Hypertension Awareness Month: An opportunity to highlight the role of pharmacy

How pharmacy can raise public awareness of health issues

by Tricia Armstrong

Community pharmacists have historically been the most accessible healthcare professionals and have successfully taken part in many public health campaigns, such as stop smoking services. In recent years the role of the pharmacist has become more diverse with pharmacists offering more services, such as flu vaccinations. Patients are looking for convenience and accessibility and pharmacists often meet these needs by providing services in the evenings and at weekends. In an article by Anderson and Thornley (2012), the authors discuss the reasons why patients, who are entitled to free NHS flu vaccinations, are prepared to pay for vaccinations because the service is more easily accessible in pharmacies. Read more How pharmacy can raise public awareness of health issues

My cyber-attack week

By Sibby Buckle, RPS English Pharmacy Board

What a week this has been!  On Friday 12 May 2017, IT systems in 47 NHS trusts in England and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland came under attack from a global malicious software attack. Here’s the latest from NHS Digital.

I work in a community pharmacy in Nottingham and first became aware of a problem when the systems of local GP surgeries and hospitals went down.  Over the weekend in the face of the cyber attack, our pharmacy and countless others continued to do what we always do, delivering fantastic patient care, giving advice and dispensing patients medicines in a timely, safe and efficient manner.

Returning to work on the Monday morning, I was bombarded with messages from my dispensing colleagues. The surgeries had been on the phone first thing to confirm that their systems were still down, and even their faxes weren’t working. Read more My cyber-attack week

Strategies for the Summer Exams

Student summer examsby Sabina Rai

The summer exams are almost here, which can be a daunting experience. For me, this is something I can relate to from my first year at the University.

Many aspects of the University are often new to a first year student. For me, it included approaching the exams and the revision. Finding the right learning and organisational strategies that worked for me was a big struggle. Both this and the lack of preparation meant I was very much behind with my revision. As a result of this, the pressure of revision and performing well in the exams increased to more than I had anticipated. However despite the pressure, I was determined to perform well in the exams and I made sure I gave my best till the very end of the last exam. Read more Strategies for the Summer Exams

The 15th Joint Qualified Person Symposium

Robert Smith PictureThe Joint Qualified Person Symposium is themed “The QP in a new world”. It is the 15th Symposium to be held by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Royal Society of Biology and Royal Society of Chemistry.

As a QP, I’m looking forward to attending the upcoming QP Symposium in May 2017. I attended the last symposium in 2015 and I found it a great day for networking with so many QP colleagues and to find out that we all share a lot of common issues and hear how these issues had been dealt with.

This year, I’m particularly looking forward to the sessions run by the MHRA on Annex 16 and serialisation. I’m hoping that we shall hear some real life examples as to the issues the MHRA are seeing with implementation of this recently updated annex.

As the industry gears up for serialisation, it will be particularly interesting to hear about checking packs into databases and what expectations there will be on the QP to verify the data has been properly uploaded.

I am also very interested in the MHRA enforcement group talk. As QPs, we have a great deal of interaction with the inspectorate but very little interaction with the enforcement group. As a pharmacist, I see this as important work. It will be interesting to find out what they do, how it’s done and as QPs, how we may be able to help in the fight to crack down on the illegal trade in pharmaceuticals that have the potential harm to our patients.

Finally, as a speaker at the symposium, I hope you will learn something from my presentation on Transitioning from Traditional Dosage Forms to Advanced Therapeutic Medicinal Products. When I first started working on these products, they were very much seen as the future of treating disease and illness but there were not that many products in research and development and there was little regulatory framework in place. Now we have a regulatory framework and there are quite a few ATMPs showing great promise in the clinic, and there are some products on the market. However, as a practicing QP there is still very little training out there for a QP who wants to transition to these products. The aim of my talk is to show you how I made the transition from releasing traditional dosage forms to ATMPs and hopefully encourage some QPs to embark on a similar journey.

I look forward to meeting you at the symposium.

Robert Smith BSc (Hons), MSc, PgDip, MRPharmS
Director, Smiro Qualitas Ltd

The Joint QP Symposium will be held on 17 May 2017 at Mary Ward House, London WC1. View a full programme of speakers and book online here.

Why NICE accreditation matters

 

We chat to Dr Mahendra Patel FRPharmS, FHEA Fellow of NICE, Vice-Chair Accreditation Committee NICE 2017 and RPS English Pharmacy Board Member about the true value of NICE accreditation and what it means to our members.

“First of all, my heartiest and proudest congratulations to everyone at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), and most importantly to the staff involved in seeing this rigorous process to successful completion with diligence and commitment.

This is very prominently a noticeable mark of international recognition, and what I firmly believe to be gold standard accreditation for the RPS with its processes for developing professional guidance and standards.

This is without doubt a remarkable achievement for the RPS.  To add further context, our process now sits proudly alongside highly credible and hugely respected organisations such as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) , the British National Formulary BNF) , various Royal Colleges (Physicians, Surgeons, Pathologists, Paediatrics & Child Health, Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Anaesthetists), and with some of the world renowned giants in guidance production, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN), the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE), and of course NICE itself. These have all been successfully approved over the years.

As pharmacists we are all scientists, and through research we are able to develop the evidence and translate into practice. Through using trusted and reliable evidence-based guidelines, pharmacists can be well supported in their daily practice to help improve patient outcomes.

RPS members can now be assured of accessing reliable and trusted sources of guidance that have been developed using critically evaluated high quality processes through the RPS. This also means that as the RPS develop new standards, and revise and update existing standards, they will also be permitted to apply the NICE accreditation badge to those (as long as the NICE accredited process manual is followed).

I was pleased to introduce the NICE Accreditation Chair and Programme Director to the English Pharmacy Board Meeting back in 2014, and to highlight to the Board the importance of the RPS in seeking gold standard accreditation by NICE.

Today, I am absolutely delighted that the RPS is now badged with the NICE kite mark.

Finally, the Accreditation programme no longer accept new applications from organisations as of September 2016 but continue to review renewals. In that sense this has been a landmark journey for me both personally and professionally.

I have enjoyed a truly informative and inspiring relation with NICE as a long standing member of its Accreditation Advisory Committee since 2009 and later as its Vice-Chair.”

Read more about the NICE accreditation.

How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

Jonathan Burton

Today is World Health Day, which marks the anniversary of the founding of the World Health Organization. The theme of this year’s day is depression. We want to use this as an opportunity to highlight the important role that pharmacists can play in identifying and supporting people with depression. Today’s article has been written by community pharmacist Jonathan Burton and gives an insight into the ways a pharmacist can help tackle the stigma of depression.

By Jonathan Burton

I work in a community pharmacy which serves a large university student population. Depressive illness is one of the most common conditions I see in my day to day practice and there is much I can do as a pharmacist to help this young adult patient group. Read more How pharmacists can identify and support people with depression

How working with a GP practice pharmacist helps me and improves patient care: a community view

Reena Patelby Reena Patel, Watmans Pharmacy, London

About me
I have worked in community pharmacy since qualifying in 2010, when I have since been a locum. More recently, I’ve worked in a pharmacy situated inside a GP Practice for the last three years. I am currently studying for a clinical diploma in order to enhance my clinical skills and enable me to provide a better service to my patients.

My top 3 tips to get the most out of a newly appointed GP Pharmacist: Read more How working with a GP practice pharmacist helps me and improves patient care: a community view

Top tips from a practice pharmacist on working with community colleagues

Yaksheeta Dave Photo 2by Yaksheeta Dave, GP practice pharmacist, London.

About me
I registered as a pharmacist in 2003 and my background has been a mixture of community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and primary care. I started working as GP practice pharmacist prior to the NHS England pilot although the GP practice that I work in is currently part of the pilot.

I am the point of contact for local community pharmacies regarding any patient related or general queries that they may have. We have an on-site community pharmacy as well as approximately five community pharmacies locally that the majority of our patients use for pharmacy services.

My top 5 tips for a new GP pharmacist to make sure they get off to a great start with local community pharmacists: Read more Top tips from a practice pharmacist on working with community colleagues

Royal Pharmaceutical Society appoints new Chief Executive

cropped-RPS_primarystacked_RGB.jpgPharmacist Paul Bennett has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. Paul will take up his post at the beginning of July 2017.

Paul joins the RPS from his position as Chief Officer of the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Pharmaceutical Committee.  Prior to this, Paul was Professional Standards Director and Superintendent Pharmacist at Boots UK and brings a wealth of professional and commercial experience gained from both national and local pharmacy organisations alongside strong leadership credentials from business and from close working with NHS Commissioners of service and others. Read more Royal Pharmaceutical Society appoints new Chief Executive