Focussing on the importance of collaboration and partnership within healthcare

Earlier this month, our Clinical Standards Director and Superintendent Pharmacist, Steve Howard spoke to a room of chief pharmacists about the importance of collaboration and partnership within the world of healthcare.

Speaking to a room full of your peers can be a daunting experience. It’s something I’ve done countless times before, but when you have dozens of senior pharmacists sat in front of you, it can feel like there’s an added pressure to get the message right – especially when you know there’s due to be a lengthy question and answer session at the end!

That said, I was extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to present at the recent Northern Chief Pharmacists Conference. The event was organised for all Chief Pharmacists and Directors of Pharmacy for the North of England, as well as a number of other NHS executives.

Only two speakers were scheduled for day two. Alongside my session was a talk by Dr Keith Ridge, NHS England Chief Pharmacist. The underlying theme for this year’s conference was around the importance of partnership and collaboration across all pharmacy sectors and businesses. Fortunately, this is something that at McKesson UK we have been banging the drum about for some time.

I took the opportunity to share some insights and experiences from our business in relation to three critical areas for the future of pharmacy:

  • Innovation – where I spoke about our work in the field of speciality pharmacy and infusion clinics. Particularly in relation to our LloydsPharmacy Healthcare Centres through which we use the combined expertise of our pharmacists and clinical nursing teams to provide services in the community, outside of a hospital environment.
  • Medicine Wastage and Adherence – using the examples of our recent patient support programmes that have shown positive results – and the opportunity we all have to do more to support patients to manage their medicines more effectively.
  • Workforce Development – a very hot topic at the minute. Here I spoke about the evolving role of pharmacists and technicians – and what that might look like in the future.

These topics prompted some interesting discussion around the room. We all understand the need for our sector to evolve and for us to find new way of using the expertise of our pharmacists and the trusting relationships we have with our patients and the communities we serve.

It was great to be able to network with like-minded professionals and I’m excited to see what further developments we have to discuss at next year’s conference.

Steve