The President’s Blog April 2017

This is my first blog since the end of December. This is not because there hasn’t been any news but because there are always times when the day job has to take precedence. For me, this has been mainly taken up with a visit from the CQC and the wonderful news that out trust was rated good. You will all be aware that the CQC is changing the way in which it will inspect trusts in the future so these incredibly tense and stressful weeks should be no more.

Another change which will affect the pharmacy professions is the proposed changes in revalidation from the General Pharmaceutical Council. This is a major change and it is important that the GPhC hears everyone’s view. The Guild will respond to the consultation so do feed your thoughts and comments in to us and/or respond yourself. The consultation can be found at

There has been much discussion about the GPhC consultation on religion, personal values and beliefs in pharmacy practice. The Guild submitted a response supporting the recommendations and that all members of the public should have access to a service which they require. In hospital practice this is possibly easier to achieve as there are other team members who may be able to step up and take over if a member of staff is unable to take on a task due to religious or ethical beliefs.

The NHS Sustainability and Transformation Plans continue to evolve. As I have said in previous blogs, it is important that you keep up to date with what is happening in your area so that you can comment on any proposed services whilst still in a draft form.

The STP plans affect England but we are aware that changes can affect the four home nations too, which is why out national members for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are so important. I am pleased to say that after being vacant for a few years we once again have a National member for Wales joining Guild council. Brian Eadon works as a formulary pharmacist based in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, we are delighted that he is joining the team. However, for the next couple of months Brian is working in Lesotho for the Wales for Africa project, you can follow his progress via his blog

On April 5th I joined a number of pharmacist and technicians from around England at a meeting hosted by CPPE to look at the CPPE Leadership Programme. This is an important area of work. The Guild has long believed that good leadership is the key to maintaining and developing pharmacy services. It was good to work alongside pharmacy technicians who have a vision of developing alongside pharmacists and taking on many of the managerial and leadership roles in the modern pharmacy department.

Graeme Richardson, Ewan Maule and Wasim Baqir took themselves and lots of information to the BPSA conference at the beginning of April. The challenges facing our pharmacy undergraduates and pre-registration pharmacists are different to when I was in that position. It was sad to hear from Pharmacist Support that many of their calls are from pre-registration pharmacists. Two Guild Members have gone to great lengths to raise money for Pharmacist Support. Kathryn Murray (an ex Guild Council Member) from Cardiff did a tandem parachute jump and Aamer Safdar ran the London Marathon. My huge congratulations and admiration go to them both of them.

As in previous years we will be attending the Clinical Pharmacy Congress at the ExCel London on May 12th and 13th. Do come along and say hello to us and ask any questions you might have. It is lovely meeting our members. We are at stand G7.

Vilma Gilis
April 2017


Summer Symposium Programme – Wednesday 21st June 2017

Programme.  More details here…PDIG June 2017

The presentations from the summer symposium are now available here…

Peter Huskinson

Jatinder Harchowal

Graeme Kirkpatrick

Tim Root

Richard Nuttal




9.00am      Arrival, Registration, Coffee & Tea
10.00am      Chairman’s Welcome & Introduction    Margaret Dolan,  Chair, PDIG  
10.10am      NHS Medicines Contracting – The Future!


§  What contracting process will be used and what will be the impact upon existing structures and systems?

§  What are the challenges and opportunities?

§  How will the NHS and Pharmaceutical Industry work in partnership?

Peter Huskinson
National Commercial Director,
Specialised Commissioning,
NHS England 


10.50am Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS)  and the National Standardisation programme


§  What is the role of  SPS?

§  What is the plan for a Catalogue of NHS-made medicines?

§  What else is on the workplan for NHS-made medicines?

    Tim Root

     Specialist Pharmacist,

Clinical  Governance & Technical Services,

NHS Specialist Pharmacy Service



11.30am     Tea/Coffee
12.00noon Cancer Medicines – The Transformation


§  How has the funding and evaluation of cancer drugs changed?

§  How will biosimilar monoclonal antibodies be introduced into practice?

§  What are the Cancer Vanguards and how will they impact on cancer treatments?

    David Thomson

Chemotherapy Pharmacist –NHS England
Chemotherapy CRG & National Cancer Drug

   Jatinder Harchowal,
Chief Pharmacist / Clinical Director,
Medicines Management & Clinical Support
Services Business Unit, Pharmacy Dept

The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust

1.00pm     Lunch
2.15pm      Restricted use of open systems for injectable
medication – background and implications
§  Background to development of patient safety alerts

§  Background to the ‘open systems’ alert

§  Implications of the alert for Pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry

Graeme KirkpatrickHead of Patient Safety (Advice and  Guidance) NHS Improvement



2.45pm     The challenges of NHS Medicines Procurement and
Distribution? – Industry Views    
A panel discussion
§  What are the most significant current issues?

§  What plans are in place to address these?

§  How can the NHS assist?

   Dr Rick Greville

Director Wales and Director Distribution &

Supply, ABPI

   Geoff Mellor

Technical Director

Healthcare Distribution Association
   Warwick Smith

   Director General, BGMA

Wednesday 21st June 2017 at the “Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel”

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham B40 1PP Tel: 0121 780 4242


    Summary and Close    Margaret Dolan, Chair, PDIG