RPS sets out ambitions to include pharmacy technicians as members
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has said it wants to bring pharmacy technicians into its fold to help create a “more unified approach to pharmacy leadership”.
In a vision statement on the future of professional leadership published today, the RPS said that in order to keep pace with an evolving healthcare landscape in which clinical services and digital technology will play a greater role, “all of pharmacy needs to come together”.
“In particular, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians should be represented in the future by a single leadership body comprised of professional faculties”.
The RPS statement is a response to the independent commission on pharmacy professional leadership set up this year by the UK’s four chief pharmaceutical officers.
It says that having a single body to represent both professions “would be a significant evolution of the current RPS” and would “require consulting with members on any future changes needed, including to our name and Royal Charter and we are open to this”.
In his introductory statement, RPS chief executive Paul Bennett said: “Many of our members work with pharmacy technicians every day and know just how essential they are to their role and to patient care.
“We feel the same at RPS and it makes perfect sense to evolve into an organisation where both professions can advance their scope of practice, working in alignment as part of the wider multi-professional team.”
The Association of UK Pharmacy Technicians (APTUK) has not yet responded to the RPS statement. Former APTUK president Liz Fidler tweeted earlier today: “Professional identity is important and must not get lost.
“Professional autonomy and parity in organisational decision making with the key ambition of providing leadership and development opportunities to the profession it represents must be factored into our future plans.”
Mr Bennett also said the RPS aims to develop and implement post-registration curricula and credentialling “for all pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working with patients and the public” across the whole of the UK, an ambition that “will require formal delegation of authority by the GPhC”.
This approach would improve patients’ confidence in the pharmacy professions as well as giving pharmacists and pharmacy technicians “confidence in themselves and each other,” Mr Bennett claimed, adding: “Critically, it will give professionals a clearly mapped career path.”
The RPS said: “We want to take on the mantle of post-registration educational leadership for the profession, advancing and promoting the highest quality of educational practice to deliver excellence in patient care.”
Pharmacy Network News has approached the RPS to learn more about the background to these proposals.