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Pharmacy in the UK: Transcom update


The membership and the work of the committee charged with establishing the new UK professional body for pharmacy – known as Transcom – has become much clearer under the chairmanship of Nigel Clarke.

Transcom is to have a membership of 14 individuals, including existing RPSGB council members and representatives of community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy, academia and industry.

A list of members can be found on the Transom website.

It will meet monthly, in public, throughout the autumn, and will operate by creating specific working groups to tackle detailed issues such as members’ services, membership and arrangements in relation to advanced and specialist practice.

Membership of the working groups has been drawn even more widely from the profession. It meets regularly with a reference group made up of pharmacy organisations that would not necessarily join the professional body themselves, but have an active interest in its creation. Professor David Taylor, Professor of Pharmaceutical and public health policy at London university is acting as public policy advisor to transcom.

As well as representatives of RPSGB officers, council and boards of England, Scotland and Wales, the interest of The Guild of hospital pharmacy, UKCPA, Institute of Pharmacy management and CPP are also represented.

Transcom has formed seven focused working groups to inform the process, each group being chaired by a committee member. Some working groups have already recruited members from the profession. Full membership of all groups is currently under consideration and will be announced on the Transcom website. The working groups are welcoming input from all potential stakeholders, and are asking for evidence to be submitted by email addressed to the specific working groups below:
Governance: [email protected] (Remit: to advise on the governance structure of the new professional body covering UK, national council, boards and committees).

Improved, advanced and specialist practice (chair Ian Simpson): [email protected] (Remit: to welcome and support improved, advanced and specialist practice across the whole of pharmacy, to provide support for existing specialist groups and organisations seeking to join the new professional body, and to provide for appropriate accreditation processes to establish independent verification of particular advanced qualifications).

Leadership: [email protected] (Remit under consideration).

Membership (chair Martin Astbury): [email protected] (Remit: focusing on membership structure and entitlements for the new professional body. Submissions should be made to this group by 25 August).

Membership Services (chair David Carter): [email protected] (Remit: to determine “core services” for membership of new body and also extra services for additional fees. Submissions should be submitted before end of August).

Research: [email protected] (Remit is under consideration).

Support in revalidation and CPD (chair Rose Marie Parr): [email protected] (Remit: to advise on accreditation services that the professional body would offer its members in relation to the formal CPD requirements of the regulator, any other forms of appropriate CPD support, and support services to be provided in relation to future regulator requirements on revalidation).

A lot of work is going into setting up these groups and consulting widely as the prospectus comes together for the new professional body. There will, no doubt, be many controversial issues, not least about the charter and the inclusion of technicians in the new body.

Of course future revalidation will be of great interest to pharmacists and technicians of all ages. I have every faith in the chair of this group, and also the chair of the group looking at improved, advanced and specialist practice.

I look forward, however, to the debates about the inclusion of the term “improved practice” and what the definition of this is.

Also, with a background in community pharmacy, where do generalist practitioners (the majority of the profession) fit? And what will be the impacts could this project have in the area of career development (existing development frameworks, covering all levels of practice, could be incorporated into the culture of the new body from the very start)?

This is about recognition and inclusion of the whole profession, wherever they practice, and at whatever level.

Gill Hawksworth
RPSGB past president


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