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Responses received to pharmacists’ questions on professional leadership commission

The recent government backed survey on professional leadership resulted in PDA members seeking clarification about its intentions. The PDA put these to the Chief Pharmacist for England and the Co-chairs of the commission on their behalf and can now share the responses received.

Mon 3rd October 2022 The PDA

PDA members had asked for more clarity around the scope and work of the Commission into pharmacy professional leadership before they could respond to the survey.  However, the response came in too late to be shared, just a few hours before the midnight deadline for submissions.

In early September, the PDA wrote to the UK’s Chief Pharmaceutical Officers to increase transparency and confidence in the process by asking for clarification of some of the commission’s thinking, assumptions, and scope.  The PDA believes it is important that the Commission’s work is informed by responses from pharmacists, but this must be based on a shared understanding. This is why the PDA has been keen to provide all of its 35,000 members with the answers to those questions.

Details of the full range of questions asked by PDA members and the rationale can be found here

On behalf of all four CPhOs, Chief Pharmacist for England David Webb provided feedback as follows;

  • “The Commission has two independent co-chairs and members have agreed to abide by the 7 principles for the conduct of public life as recommended by the Nolan Commission which form part of the Terms of Reference. Commission members have been appointed on behalf of all pharmacy professionals to contribute their expertise in and knowledge of professional leadership and are not appointed to represent their particular countries, organisations, sectors or roles.”
  • “The CPhOs act as advisors to the Commission and the final report will be authored by the co-chairs in consultation with Commission members. The Call for Evidence survey analysis and report writing is being conducted by an independent external organisation.”
  • “The Call for Evidence survey is not intended to focus on any one specific professional leadership body. There are many such bodies that relate to pharmacy professionals across the UK.”
  • “The work is being funded by the Offices of the four UK chief pharmaceutical officers.”

However, some of the PDA members’ questions remained unanswered including, what was meant by “pharmacy professionals”? What prompted the commission? and what expertise do the individual members of the commission have?

Following the initial response above, the PDA therefore wrote to the Co-Chairs of the commission for further clarification on the outstanding points. Their response stated that;

  • “The Commission was set up by the CPhOs with the broad aim to support and strengthen pharmacy professional leadership to enable excellence in patient care. There are significant changes occurring – and which will continue to evolve – which impact on the pharmacist and pharmacy technician professions and we need to ensure that they are well equipped with a voice to help shape the future, and enabled to develop through determining best practice, sharing and learning from it.  Strong, effective and well-respected professional leadership, which represents the clinical voice of pharmacy professionals, is required to guide, support and enable these transformational changes so they benefit patients and professionals. The final recommendations of the Report of the Commission are a matter for the Co-Chairs.”
  • “It is an independent Commission, co-chaired by independent non pharmacy professionals, with significant expertise and experience in professional regulation and leadership.”
  •  “The Commission members have been invited to participate based on their knowledge and expertise in professional leadership in its various guises.”
  • “All pharmacy professional leadership bodies are included – the RPS, APTUK and PSNI; to this should be added all those groupings who represent pharmacists in particular areas of practice, such as the British Oncology Pharmacy Association, and the UKCPA, for example.”
  •  “Pharmacy professionals are registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians.”

PDA members will undoubtedly draw their own conclusions with regard to the information provided and although unfortunately the Commission survey has now closed, pharmacists still have a chance to participate in an online survey being organised by Communications International Group (CIG – the publishers of titles such as Pharmacy Magazine and Independent Community Pharmacist) which is far more comprehensive and probably very helpful to the overall exercise. It asks a range of questions around the wider leadership landscape in pharmacy.

One of the commission co-chairs has indicated that the results of the CIG survey would be of interest to the commission, and we would urge PDA members to participate.

The CIG Pharmacy Leadership Organisations Assessment Survey can be accessed here:

Learn more

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