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 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 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

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, 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

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

GHP Press Release: NHS Pharmacists Working with Pharmaceutical Companies

Working with pharmaceutical companies is a necessary and often beneficial aspect of a pharmacist’s role, particularly when working in a commissioning, clinical, prescribing or procurement role. In light of recent press interest and upcoming changes to legislation the GHP wish to issue the following guidance to its members: If you are invited to attend an advisory board being run by a pharmaceutical company or be involved in other similar paid work or sponsorship:

  • Check your employer’s policies on the matter. Most employers will have some information in their Medicines Management and Human Resources policies
  • Ensure you are familiar with or have read national guidance and that you are compliant with these documents i.e. Standards of business conduct for NHS staff (HSG(93)5) and Best practice guidance for joint working between the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry (DH 2008) (although local guidance should take account of these).
  • Complete the relevant declarations to your employer. Ensure you include detail on travel and subsistence, as well as fees/honoraria received
  • Consider other committees or bodies you sit on within our out with your direct employer e.g. regional formulary or area prescribing committees and complete any relevant declarations to those bodies
  • Ensure any promises you make to take back to your ‘day job’ are ethically sound – is it something you would have been happy to do had you not sat on the advisory board?
  • Consider associated hospitality – having an event for UK staff hosted at a city centre hotel near a railway station or airport is probably justifiable for convenience. Having it in Dubai probably isn’t. That said, some advisory boards involve wider geographical areas so for example economy class flights to a central European city may be reasonable.
  • Think about how the payment and hospitality could be perceived by the public; could it be said to be proportionate and reasonable?
  • Do not make inflated claims about your position, influence or sphere of responsibility
  • If you are being paid for the work, ensure it is done in your own time
  • Advisory boards must be advisory and not promotional. A company using an advisory board as promotional is breaking the ABPI Code of Practice and you must report it to the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA)
  • Any income you receive will be taxable, so inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs
  • Be mindful if you’re asked to bring any information from your employer (e.g. usage of certain drugs, current formulary choices) to ‘help with discussions’. Consider what information is publically available and what is commercial in confidence. If you are in any doubt, discuss with your employer, or simply say no.
  • Be aware of any confidentiality arrangements you have signed up to at the meeting itself
  • If a meeting is set up by a third party, ensure you know which company they are working on behalf of It is worth noting this is issued as guidance alone, and that individuals are still responsible for their action.

Should you require any further information or advice on this, or any other related matter, please contact your local GHP representative. If you are not yet a member, please join above.