Health and wellness included for the first time in updated RPS Hospital Pharmacy Standards

Ensuring a healthy work-life balance for pharmacists and tackling barriers to diversity have been included for the first time in the Royal’s updated ‘Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services’ Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

The standards, which were first published in 2012, have been updated twice and the 2022 update includes two new sections: inclusion and well-being; and research, audit and quality improvement.

The standards are designed for use across the full range of NHS services and independent hospital pharmacies, including hospitals, mental health, community services, prisons, hospices and ambulances. The use of standards is not mandatory, but aims to present examples of good practice.

With respect to inclusion and well-being, the new standards state that pharmacy teams should have a “belonging culture that champions inclusive and authentic leadership, challenges barriers to inclusion and diversity, and promotes positive mental health and well-being”.

This includes commitments to foster a “healthy work-life balance” and to “collect and understand workforce data related to equality and diversity and have an action plan to address any identified inequities”.

Among new guidelines for research, audit and quality improvement, the standards state that the pharmacy team would be “supported to develop skills to participate in, conduct and lead research, audit and quality improvement”.

Sarah Crawshaw, Head of Education at the Pharmacy Foundation (South West) for Health Education England, who led the standards update, said the standards were UK-wide for the first time. United, having been approved by the Pharmacy Forum Northern Ireland.

“In addition, we have obtained endorsement from the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association, the Neonatal and Pediatric Pharmacists Group and the Independent Chief Pharmacists Group, as well as a number of other bodies. willing to approve standards and go through internal testing and governance procedures,” Crawshaw added.

Roger Fernandes, Chairman of the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group, said: “[The standards] create consistent quality of patient care across healthcare and provide Chief Pharmacists and Pharmacy Directors with a set of guidelines against which they can be held accountable.

“These will be essential to enable leaders to meet the expectations of the General Council of Pharmacy which will directly define their future roles after the legislative change comes into force on December 1. [2022].”

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