President’s Blog – April 2024


Designated Prescribing Practitioners

We recently published our interim position statement on the current status quo for the wide-scale rollout of DPPs. Fundamentally, we are concerned that the 2025-26 cohort planning has not incorporated the significant amount of time and training required to fulfil the role of DPP. Pharmacists need to have good quality training to become a DPP and require ongoing time and support from their employer. The new pharmacist prescribers coming out will have fewer years of experience and require more support.

We acknowledge there are brilliant DPPs out there. We also acknowledge that many individuals will want to assume the role with aplomb. What we don’t want, however, is our members pressured into doing a demanding function without adequate time to do so. We also believe that working pharmacists delivering the role of DPP should ideally be remunerated directly. Becoming a DPP is not compulsory.

Please continue to get in touch through your Regional Member or other Council member with any issues or comments on DPPs as you have been already.

Clinical Pharmacy Congress – London 10th May 2024

We will be back at CPC in London on 10th and 11th May! You will find Guild Council members at our stand D6 and across the event floor.

We have listened to primary care pharmacists all across England and we are going to be discussing the themes and concerns that have emerged. Laura Buckley, Lead for Primary Care, and I will be on stage at 14:15 on the Friday in the Integrated Care Theatre & Primary Care Theatre. We will be joined by Graham from the Primary Care Pharmacy Association and Melissa from Pharmacist Support.

Please come along to join us and contribute to the discussion. CPC is one of the events we prioritise attendance at to have a physical presence and meet our members face to face. You can register for CPC for free here:

Scotland – Future of the NHS Event

On 2nd April Unite in Health hosted Cabinet Secretary for Health Neil Gray MSP (SNP) and Deputy Scottish Labour Leader Jackie Baillie for a frank and honest discussion about the future of the NHS in Scotland.

Both Neil and Jackie were candid about the challenges facing the NHS but came prepared with very different ideas of how to address these. Neil, from an SNP perspective, highlighted various policy positions that were largely unsurprising.

Jackie (Lab) presented radical ideas for NHS reform including merging the 14 territorial boards into 3 with consolidated executive management and greater emphasis on local clinical leaders handling delivery. There were concerns in the room about how efficient that would be given how challenging it can be operating in very large health organisations such as NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

I personally challenged the Cabinet Secretary on the lack of focus on professionals at higher bands such as pharmacists and psychologists in recent pay awards. I also mentioned take home pay packets being lower for most pharmacists due to higher pension contributions for NHS staff at band 8A which were unilaterally imposed by Michael Mathieson (SNP) prior to his resignation due to his handling of his iPad roaming charges. I highlighted the value that pharmacists bring to the workforce not only in terms of direct clinical service delivery for complex patients but also in terms of how we frequently save money and release resource for expenditure in other areas and for other staff.

He acknowledged my points and we will see if he has taken them to heart for pharmacists during the next round of pay negotiations in Scotland.

Nathan Burley

President – Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists

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