The Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain (RPSGB) is calling for a greater sense of urgency from the Government in bolstering the role of the pharmacist.
In addition to increasing the pace of change, the RPSGB also believes there is need for more clarity on how the Government is going to fund the new services being provided by healthcare professionals.
Many of the benefits for the public are already being experienced in hospitals and in local communities. The RPSGB wants to work with Government to increase the momentum to roll out the benefits identified in the paper across England.
The organization says that it is encouraged by the Government’s recognition of the importance of the role of the pharmacist in its White Paper “Pharmacy in England: building on strengths, delivering the future”.
In particular, the RPSGB say they are pleased that the White Paper shows that the voice of the pharmacy profession has been heard in relation to:
• A national minor ailment scheme – which should be created in every Primary Care Trust and specifically targeted to address health inequalities. This will encourage the public to visit their local pharmacy rather than their GP with coughs, colds, stomach upsets and other common illnesses.
• The encouragement to commission enhanced services, such as health screening for Chlamydia and blood pressure checks, from pharmacies. The use of pharmacies will provide easy access for the public to these services.
• Raising the public profile of the profession through a national communications programme.
Chair of the English Pharmacy Board of the RPSGB, Paul Bennett said: “The profession has been asking for changes to be made to extend the clinical and advisory services offered to the public.
“We have been waiting for this positive response for some time and we look forward to working with the Government to deliver the programme, in what is one of the best opportunities to realise the potential for pharmacists working in hospitals, PCTs and in the community. Delivering the proposals will create new career opportunities for today’s generation of pharmacy students.
“Once implemented, the plans will give the public better access to better choices for tackling prevention of illness and providing treatment.”