The President’s Blog December 2016

Whilst my blog is only covering two months it has been another busy period for the Guild. On November 4th and 5th the UKCPA held their conference in Manchester and the Guild was there to support the event. We were able to meet many members and potential members at our stand and we ran two of the sessions.

On Friday morning Roisin O’Hare, our Education and Development Lead and Wasim Baqir, our Communications Lead took us through a form of speed-dating where we pitched our research and development ideas to members of the group. It was enormous fun and fired a lot of enthusiasm. Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe, National Officer for Health for Unite and Ursula Gotel, one of our Terms and Conditions Leads led a session on Flexible Working, Pay and Pensions. It is never too early to think about your pension, even if it seems a long way off now.
On the Friday dinner I was able to present Guild awards. Ron Pate received his Honorary Vice- Presidents bar, Colin Rodden received the Guild Silver Award and Alison Beaney received the Guild Gold Award. It was a great honour for me to present these awards to such deserving recipients. It was also a great honour to see Ann Page present UKCPA lifetime achievement awards to Mike Scott and Duncan McRobbie.

If you would like to nominate someone for a Guild Award please do so through your Regional Member. The Guild Silver Award is made to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to the practice or politics of pharmacy at a regional level and the Guild Gold Award is made to a pharmacist who has made an outstanding contribution to the practice or politics of pharmacy at a national level.
On November 10th the Procurement and Distribution Interest Group ran another successful one day conference in Birmingham and a number of Guild Council members also attended the Pharmacy Management Conference in London the following week.

It is always a pleasure to meet our membership and to keep in touch and hopefully we will be able to do more of this next year.

The Sustainability and Transformation Plans will be being discussed in your region. It is important that you find out what is going on both at a regional and national level. Do go to the Unite Health Sector part of the Unite website to keep in touch and look out for what is happening locally.
I was able to attend the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s launch of the new standards for reporting, sharing, learning, taking action and review of incidents. This is an important piece of work which will support the culture of openness that is needed within the profession.
I was once again able to attend the American Society of Hospital Pharmacists Mid-Year Conference which was held in Las Vegas. The size of the conference (over 20,000 delegates) and the spectacle that is Las Vegas was overwhelming but talking to enthusiastic young pharmacists about their work is the same whichever continent you are on.

On the Monday of the conference there is a session called International Pearls (there are a lot of Pearls Sessions) and I was proud to support two British Pharmacists who were presenting their work. Alastair Gray presented his Refer to pharmacy project and Raliat Onatade presented work done on setting up a liaison psychiatry pharmacist when she was working at King’s College Hospital. Both these presentations were focussed on providing the best patient care and I was very proud to be in the audience.

I also attended a meeting with the ASHP Board and the leaders of other hospital pharmacy organisations. Everyone was interested to hear about pharmacist prescribers and it is clear that many are envious of this role. We should be supporting our young pharmacists in obtaining the
qualification and GHP will be looking at how job specifications should be amended to support the role in the New Year.

Whilst many of you would have returned from a trip to the States to put your feet up I came back and sang in my choir’s Christmas Concert the next day and had a Guild Council meeting the following Tuesday. However, sharing the work that we do on Guild Council is always invigorating. We have considered 74 consultations this year and responded to 43.
We also discussed our communications survey and we will be looking at new ways to communicate with you in the next year.

Our Northern Ireland representative, Kathy Stevenson, is retiring and her place is to be taken by Katherine Devlin. We wish Kathy well and look forward to welcoming Katherine. We are still looking for Regional Members for Wales and the South East; if you would be interested in getting involved please contact me (details below).

On behalf of Guild Council may I wish you a happy and successful 2017.

Vilma Gilis December 2016

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