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Roles and competencies for pharmacists in Europe

The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists is convening a Summit to set out the future direction of the profession and how it can further serve the patient and enhance collaboration with other health professionals
The European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) is convening a Summit to set out the future direction of the profession and how it can further serve the patient and enhance collaboration with other health professionals.
For 40 years, EAHP has existed as a leadership, representation and development body for hospital pharmacists at the European level. As we enter the next 40 years, however, it is critical that we empower our member associations across Europe with a strong sense of purpose and direction as to the benchmark services and roles that hospital pharmacy should deliver in all countries.
EAHP Summit
So, in 2014 EAHP is calling a Summit to set out and agree ‘European statements of hospital pharmacy’: statements that we can seek to measure; statements around which EAHP will target implementation support services; statements that will be foundation stones for the ongoing development of our profession.
Impact on healthcare delivery 
And as the Summit is designed to have long-term impact on healthcare delivery, it is important to hear and reflect on the perspectives of those whom hospital pharmacy serves, that is, not only fellow health professionals, but also the end target of all hospital pharmacy activity: the patient.
Meeting in Brussels on 14–15 May 2014, delegates of our 34 member countries, alongside 34 European patient and healthcare professional organisations, will deliberate and vote on around 50 statements of hospital pharmacy practice. The statements cover  areas such as: governance; selection, procurement and distribution of medicines; production and compounding of medicines; clinical pharmacy services;
patient safety and quality assurance; and education and research.
At the completion of the Summit, the statements, agreed jointly between hospital pharmacists, patients and healthcare professionals, will form the European expectancy in terms of services delivered by hospital pharmacy.
As I write, we are currently in the midst of an exciting Delhi method consultation on draft statements, with representatives of hospital pharmacy across Europe, alongside patient and professional organisations. Comments and feedback are enriching the process of statement production, which themselves take as their initial basis, the 2008 ‘Basel Statements on Hospital Pharmacy’ produced by the International Pharmaceutical Federation.
Good practice initiatives
But statements of hospital pharmacy are, of course, only the start of a process. It is vital that we also provide our national member associations with the tools to complete the job. In this respect, our Summit initiative also constructs a new section of the EAHP Congress, ‘Good Practice Initiatives’.
Featuring a new poster section, a ‘show and tell’ presentation session, and long-term development of an online repository of reference information, Good Practice Initiatives are designed to take hospital pharmacist understanding beyond just ‘what’ practice improvements can be strived for, but importantly ‘how’ such improvements can be achieved in reality and also includes commissioned activity to investigate the use of metrics in hospital pharmacy.
Led by Dr David Cousins, an EAHP-supported research project is being conducted to discover not only the current state of service metrics in European hospital pharmacy, but also to reflect and advise on future use and utility of such metrics and tackles the issue of how to overcome common challenges to implementing improvement.
Prof David Gerrett is heading an investigation of what can regularly intrude on chief pharmacists achieving their aspirations for practice improvement, with the aim of providing strategic advice to EAHP in relation to implementation of the European Statements on Hospital Pharmacy.
It is through this Summit initiative, and its associated workstreams, that EAHP hopes to unblock the road to European hospital pharmacy, delivering the next levels of service to the patient. However, while EAHP can set direction, provide strategic advice, and give educational support and opportunities, it will always be the hospital pharmacist on the ground who achieves the real change. To this extent, the EAHP Summit is a joint enterprise in moving the profession forward, between not only EAHP, its members, patient and professional groups – but also every hospital pharmacist in practice in Europe.
I therefore wish to finish by urging all hospital pharmacy colleagues to: learn more about the Summit on our website; stay in touch with relevant news via the EAHP email newsletters, social media platforms and Journal; and, most of all, make use, through your Association, of the tools, guidance, exemplars and educational opportunities connected to the Summit as they become available in the unfolding months and years.
Through this joint enterprise, I trust 2014’s European Summit on Hospital Pharmacy can be the springboard to thousands of positive improvement actions by pharmacists in every hospital pharmacy in Europe.
Roberto Frontini PhD
President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP)

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