Stephen Slaine talks of future development with ValerieWatts
Pharmacies urged to be proactive in Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening
14 Medicines Optimisation and the way forward for Pharmacy/GP working
15 High degrees of success for both University of Ulster and QUB
22 Ulster Chemists’ Association announce local information & training events
24 How to help the male population MANage their health
Launch of the Pharmacy in Focus Awards - Get in it to win it!
The increasing use of fraudulent medications in Northern Ireland
Finance Focus – Chancellors unwelcome surprise
40 Menopause and its management in Pharmacy
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The official magazine for the Ulster Chemists’ Association Strand House, 2nd Floor 102 Holywood Road Belfast, BT4 1NU
Tel: 028 9065 6576 www.uca.org.uk
PRESIDENT Killian Johnston
SECRETARY Adrienne Clugston
HON. TREASURER Peter Wright
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS Turlough Hamill, Fergus Hamilton, Sheelagh Hillan, Paul Kelly, Jayne Laughlin, Jonathan Lloyd, Paula McDaid, Paul McDonagh, Cliff McElhinney, James McKay, Siobhan O'Reilly, Stephen Slaine.
Welcome Stephen Slaine UCA Vice-President Y
ou know its summer in Ireland when the rain gets warmer’ – Hal Roach. That was definitely our summer this year!
Even though the weather has been, at best changeable, at worse continuously wet and windy, summer traditionally brings a time when the pace of business slows down as people take well deserved breaks with family or friends or simply take it a little easier with fewer meetings providing respite from, at times, the relentless treadmill.
Hedgehogs must love these weather conditions as their staple diet is slugs and snails. Hedgehogs were the first thing that sprung to mind when I was asked to write the foreword for Killian as he was taking a very well deserved family break. Hedgehogs were a topic in one of the books I read on holidays.
There’s an ancient Greek parable about ‘The Hedgehog and the Fox’. Whilst the fox is a cunning creature able to devise many complex strategies for sneak attacks on the hedgehog, on the other hand, the hedgehog is a dowdier creature waddling along day by day, searching for lunch and taking care of its home. Each time the fox attacks the hedgehog, it responds with a very simple defence mechanism. It rolls into a ball.
‘The Hedgehog Concept - Hedgehogs simplify a complex world into a single organising idea, a basic principle or concept that unifies and guides everything. This reduces a complex world, with all of its challenges and dilemmas to simple ideas. Anything that does not relate to the hedgehog idea holds no relevance. This approach keeps the organization focused on what it can best do to achieve greatness, a sustainable competitive advantage’ – Jim Collins.
What can be the Hedgehog Concept for our profession? What can be one of the Hedgehog Concepts for Integrated Care Partnerships? What will take a relentless focus over time to make Northern Ireland the international leader in its field? What can only succeed through collaborative working for collaborative gain?
The Medicines Optimisation Quality Framework Strategy The Ulster Chemists’ Association have recently responded to the consultation for this important strategy. Helping people to gain better outcome from medicines, in other words medicines optimisation, is also an important strand of our community pharmacy strategy ‘Making it Better through Pharmacy in the Community.'
In our lead article Ms Valerie Watts clearly states – ’The concept of medicines optimisation clearly aligns with ICP objectives and I believe pharmacists will have a huge role to play given that more and more medicines are being prescribed to people for long term conditions.’
The role of pharmacy was also highlighted in the Donaldson Report when he recommended, ‘to create a greatly expanded role for pharmacists’. How the medicines optimisation strategy is developed linking pharmacists working in secondary care, general practice and community along with our colleagues in medicine, nursing and AHP’s will play a pivotal role in delivering effective Integrated Care Partnerships. 'Making every contact count' is the added value which the community pharmacy network brings to the development of the MOQF. Relationships which have been established over many years by community pharmacists, with both patients and carers, need to be embedded in the development of the medicines optimisation strategy to optimise service delivery.
Collaborative working is also behind the formation of the ‘Pharmacy Professional and Representative Bodies’ group to give leadership on delivery of three of the fifteen key actions identified in our pharmacy strategy. These being; • Revising Community Pharmacy working practices • Communicating the role of community pharmacy • Supporting change through professional standards and guidelines.
The PPRB is Chaired by Ms Julie Greenfield from our Professional Forum and has representatives from UCA, CPNI, PDA, NPA and the DHSSPS. Each organisation is committed to working collaboratively, aligning their resources, ultimately to achieve the effective implementation of our pharmacy strategy in the years ahead. You will hear more about the PPRB in the months ahead.
Now that summer is behind us and the pace of business increases once again, what can you do to influence the change that surrounds us? As Ms Watts clearly states ‘the ongoing financial pressures within the system remains challenging’. There’s no doubt that the situation remains challenging for community pharmacy. However, what should be our focus, both collectively and individually, in the coming months?
Someone once gave me advice, ‘Affect what you can and influence what you can’t.’ What can you affect and how can you influence the practice of pharmacy to deliver our 'Hedgehog concept' in the years ahead?
Finally, on behalf of the executive, I would like to recognise the valuable contribution which Tammy McAlpine has made to the UCA for many years. She will be very well known to many of you, especially our younger pharmacists through the support given during the UCA training programme. We wish Tammy and her family every success in the future as she leaves the UCA to pursue an exciting new opportunity.
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