Empowering our pharmacists today

31 January 2019

Jose Acuyo Cespedes, Consultant

Pharmacists are unique. There is a wide spread of opinions and thoughts about what it is they actually do. This is due to a few factors. Firstly, their roles are changing rapidly. Secondly, their roles vary depending on the care setting in which they are based. Thirdly, the general public have very little exposure to their day to day roles.

At PPL, we have seen first-hand the value pharmacists can bring to a health system. And I have a personal interest, having spent five years studying and working in pharmacy, including writing my Masters thesis on their impact in the health system. This inspired me to help spread the word, first within PPL and now with you, on the good work our pharmacists are doing around the country and the ways in which they could be better utilised.

A lot of people see pharmacists as the person behind the counter at a local store who is simply there to give them their medication. This could not be further from the truth.

Pharmacists are experts in medicines whose role traditionally revolves around dispensing medication and enhancing patient health via their work on medications. In recent years, however, the role of the pharmacist has been shifting away from the dispensary and towards service provision. This is to make better use of pharmacists’ skills and knowledge base. As a result, pharmacists now work in hospitals, pharmacies, GP practices, care homes and even A&E departments.

At PPL we aim to Open Minds and encourage people to be curious, creative and passionate about health and social care services. Over the past few months, we have been looking into the evidence through both literature reviews and stakeholder interviews. We aim to demonstrate the value of pharmacists in multiple settings. ‘Empowering our Pharmacists today’ tells the story of what we found and is available for download below.

I hope you enjoy it and welcome any feedback: jose.cespedes@pplconsulting.co.uk.

Spoiler alert: pharmacists bring immense value to patients, commissioners and providers but they are often overlooked when performing large-scale change.

Download the full report here: Empowering our pharmacists today