Friday, 10 August 2012

So, what _do_ people want from the RPS?

Once a week I have the luxury of working with a second pharmacist and I nearly always ask them whether they belong to the RPS. Sadly, most don't and a sheepish "no" is usually rapidly followed by a permutation of the following

"I belong to the PDA because I know they will help me if things go wrong"

"I can get the information I want by calling the NPA"

"I can't see what value I get from it"

"They've never done much for me"

"Now that locum rates are going down I have to think hard about expenditure" - one locum followed this up by saying that times were so hard he could no longer afford to shop in Tesco and would have to go to Asda!

So, I then ask what the society needs to do to persuade them to join and, sadly, I never really receive an answer. 

I was thinking about this the other day after a conference call with Howard Duff, the Director for England. The reason for the call was to discuss the future work plan and he was seeking ideas prior to the strategy day at which the priorities will be set. 

I realised I was probably thinking a little too strategically and broad brush when he said to me, "What I really want are some smart objectives. Some pieces of work that have a tangible outcome and benefit members and potential members"

It's a deceptively simple question because many of my first thoughts were already being taken on by others. For example, educational matters are the province of CPPE, although LPCs are getting in on the act and many companies provide ongoing training. Workplace pressures are being tackled by some of the "Just Culture" work although most pharmacists I speak to are completely unfamiliar with the phrase and concept and it is often hard to measure the impact of an individual organisation's lobbying. 

I've become very exercised by some of the issues I discover on a day to day basis in the areas of "transfer of care" and monitored dosage systems but it is not clear what precise actions the RPS can take to build on the recently produced "Transfer of Care" Document although it did strike me that a definitive guide to pros and cons of MDS and other aids to patient compliance would probably help reduce bad practice - if everyone read it. So, I am giving the matter some thought over the weekend but if you have an answer to the question:

"Name one thing/resource the RPS could do" 

let me have your ideas and I promise I will feed them into the process.