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My blog begins in August, which is generally a quiet month for GHP activity as we settle in with new pre-registration pharmacists, new pharmacists and new junior doctors. We do however continue to have queries and many of these are from pharmacists about to start working in GP practices about obtaining professional indemnity. Membership of … Continue reading “The President’s Blog. October 2016”
My blog begins in August, which is generally a quiet month for GHP activity as we settle in with new pre-registration pharmacists, new pharmacists and new junior doctors. We do however continue to have queries and many of these are from pharmacists about to start working in GP practices about obtaining professional indemnity. Membership of the union entitles members to advice and support in workplace matters including grievances, disciplinary procedures and employment tribunals. Membership of the union also entitles members who are statutorily registered health professionals to support and advice if investigated by a regulatory body and also the support of the union’s lawyers should a case go to a hearing. Contingent Medical Malpractice (CMM) is there in case a member should, for example, be sued by a patient or client for malpractice. CMM depends on the employer having primary cover which all NHS organisations will have. Anyone working directly for a GP Practice would not be covered as GPs do not have primary cover but usually have individual liability arrangements. We are therefore advising pharmacists directly employed by GPs that CMM would not be appropriate. However, if they are employed by an NHS organisation to provide the services to the GP surgery then they would be covered. The underwriters of the CMM do not make any differentiation with respect to job roles as long as the tasks that are taken out are in the individual’s job description. For example, there is not added premium for independent prescribers. The CMM will not provide legal cover for criminal acts but we have confirmed that they would support a pharmacist who was being prosecuted for a dispensing error.
For many years we have used the website www.ghp.org.uk but this has now become old and would need a lot of investment to upgrade it. We have therefore moved temporarily to another website www.pharm.org.uk until we can move our content into the Unite website. Bear with us during the transition and follow us on Twitter to keep up to date with our activities.
I was able to attend the Royal Pharmaceutical Society conference in Birmingham at the beginning of September and enjoyed the programme and meeting up with old friends immensely. I was particularly proud that former GHP President Tony West received the RPS Lifetime Achievement award. Much of the discussion at the conference was about the new contract for community pharmacy and its effect on the future of many independent pharmacies. GHP gave evidence to the Department of Health in February on this and will continue monitor the situation. Rahul Singal launched the Department of Health report on seven day services for hospital pharmacy https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/7ds-clinical-pharmacy-acute-hosp.pdf GHP has always supported the development of seven day services provided that there are appropriate resources to allow it to happen without detriment to the weekday service or the staff. When attending conferences I am always pleased to see the practice research posters. We need, more than ever, published research to support and justify our practice.
Straight after the RPS conference I managed to fit in a very enjoyable trip to the Netherlands with my choir but it was straight back to Guild matters on return. Graeme Richardson, Vice President; Kevin McAdam and Gavin Fergie from Unite and I met with members of the Procurement and Distribution Interest Group to discuss how we could support their very successful day conferences in the future
GHP NOPC was held on September 27th and we welcomed a new regional member, Alison Smith, who will be representing the West Midlands. Alison is an active GHP/Unite in Worcester and sits on the Regional Industrial Sector Committee. I am sure that Alison will be a great asset to the Guild and will be in contact with West Midlands members shortly. We were joined by Peter Noyce and Diane Leicester from Pharmacist Support who gave a presentation on the work of the organisation. There are many overlaps between the work of our organisations and we have agreed that we need to make sure that anyone seeking advice is signposted to the correct organisation. If you are able to support the work of Pharmacist Support by making a donation then please do so.
I also met up again with Diane and Peter on October 18th at the GPhC’s professionalism Under Pressure seminar. It was interesting to talk to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians from all sectors and at different points in their career path about the increased pressures that are being felt. Staff surveys have shown that decreased stress leads to increased engagement and quality improvement plus the inevitable decrease in sickness. Sadly, Pharmacy Support is receiving increased numbers of calls from pre-registration pharmacists. At the end of my last blog I finished with the good news of a high pass rate for the pre-registration examinations so it is disappointing that there was only a 41% pass rate following the September examination. I am sure that the GPhC and training providers will be reflecting on what has gone wrong here.
As ever, we have been busy responding to consultations on your behalf. In the past three months we have submitted responses to the EMA on Good Pharmacovigilance Practices; NHS England on Managing Conflicts of Interest in the NHS; to the MHRA on Risk appropriate approached to clinical trials; the Scottish Government on Out of hospital urgent care to name a few. We often put out a Twitter request for comments and views so do follow us and respond if you have views that you would like to share. One area where we feel we are unable to respond to consultations at present is anything related to Wales. We have not had a Welsh regional member for some time and we may therefore be missing out on the opportunity to support our Welsh members. If you work in Wales and think you may be able to take on this role please contact me for further information or discussion.
Along with Graeme, Roisin O’Hare, Education and Development Lead and Wasim Baqir, Communications Lead we met with Catherine Duggan and Beth Ward at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society to discuss mutual areas of interest and concern. Catherine and Beth were able to present their Roadmap for Advance Practitioners. The enthusiasm for our profession and professional development on both sides was excellent and we hope we will be able to work together to take the profession ever forward.
Hopefully I will be able to meet many members at our stand at the UKCPA Conference on Friday.
We’re more than half way through the year and I am now more than half way through my presidency. April is always a busy month for GHP and this year was no exception, even without there being a joint conference this spring. Once again we had a stand at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress and I … Continue reading “The President’s Blog September 2016”
We’re more than half way through the year and I am now more than half way through my presidency.
April is always a busy month for GHP and this year was no exception, even without there being a joint conference this spring. Once again we had a stand at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress and I was ably assisted once again this year by ex NOPC member Peter Leslie and this year we were also joined by Waz Baqir and Ewan Maule. It is so good to meet so many of you at the Guild Stand, at some points we were overwhelmed by the numbers wanting to talk to us. It was interesting to hear about your career development and your concerns. Many of you wished to talk to us about your extended roles and your liability arrangements. Unite’s Contingent Medical Malpractice will cover any extended roles you take on, including independent prescribing, as long as you are working within your job description and your employer has primary cover. All NHS trusts and CCGs should have this cover but most GP practices do not and therefore the CMM will not be appropriate.
One of the items we always have on the GHP stand for the CPC is our Annual Report. The report can be found at http://www.ghp.org.uk/ContentFiles/ghpannrep15.pdf and I urge you to have a look and see all the work that GHP does during the year.
GHP has been involved in a number of important consultations during the past few months. We were able to view the proposed metrics for the Hospital Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation review proposed in the Lord Carter Report and comment on them. We are now waiting for the final metrics to be published. This is an important audit of hospital pharmacy services and could affect out direction of work for years to come so do look out for them when they are published. Many of the proposals could lead to further outsourcing of hospital pharmacy services so it is important that you engage locally in what is happening so that you can have your say. We will be sure to tweet any links.
The GPhC consultation on their new proposed standards were out for consultation and GHP’s response can be viewed at http://www.ghp.org.uk/ContentFiles/ghpconres1606.pdf We frequently ask for comments to responses via Twitter so follow us on @GHPPharmacy and have your say.
Many of you will know that I work in a Mental Health trust in Kent. In May I was invited by the local LPF to take part in ‘Kent’s Got Talent’, an opportunity for pre-registration and early years pharmacists to talk to their senior colleagues working in specialist areas. I was also joined by another NOPC member, Heather Weaver, who works in Specialist Commissioning for NHS England. I was able to talk about working in Mental Health and the work I do with GHP, ten minutes per group
just wasn’t enough. For those of you staring out in your career have you seen the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s’ Foundation Programme http://www.rpharms.com/development/foundation-practice.asp?
Two members of the NOPC Graeme Richardson and Anthony Sinclair attended the European Association of Hospital Pharmacy General Assembly in Prague this year. This was Graeme’s first assembly and he came back full of enthusiasm for the work of the organisation and how the UK could become more involved. This meeting was mid-June so before the referendum results! However, the EAHP membership goes beyond the membership of the EU and we will continue with our membership after Brexit. We have also offered to host the General Assembly in the UK in the next few years, probably in Edinburgh.
At the end of June we had our annual Strategy Meeting at Esher Place. Strategy meetings are always hard work but it is a pleasure to work in these lovely surroundings. It is possible for members to stay at Esher Place so go and look at the Unite website, www.unitetheuniorn.org for details.
Following on from the referendum we were joined at Esher by ex-President Tony West who is currently working with EAHP on the implementation of their statements on hospital pharmacy. Tony took us through the implications for pharmacy from Brexit. These have been collated by Colin Rodden and can be viewed at http://www.ghp.org.uk/ContentFiles/ghp1607brexit.pdf
At the strategy day we also said goodbye to Barrie Brown. Barrie was one of Unite’s Officers for Health for many years and has worked with GHP on Pay Review Body submissions and Agenda for Change. NHS Employees in the UK owes Barrie a great deal as he has worked tirelessly for the best possible deal for all staff working under those terms and conditions. Barrie’s post has been filled by Sarah Carpenter who I know very well from her work in Kent. We are all looking forward to working with Sarah in the years ahead.
It was good to see that the Pre-Registration pass rate has increased this year to 95%. This is excellent and I wish all newly qualified pharmacists every success in their careers ahead. Remember, this is just the beginning. Continue to develop and always keep the patient at the heart of all you do whether your work is directly or indirectly patient focussed. GHP is committed to developing the profession and works with many organisations to ensure you get the best education, training and development opportunities.
Vilma Gilis July 2016