Pharmacy Voice announces Patient Safety Group

Pharmacy Voice has launched a group for community pharmacy Medication Safety Officers (MSOs).

In September 2014, Pharmacy Voice joined NHS England’s Sign up to Safety campaign, making a commitment to keep a focus on patient safety through its work streams and at the forefront of all its responses.

Further developing this commitment, Pharmacy Voice has launched a Patient Safety Group for community pharmacy MSOs. Pharmacy Voice’s new group will build upon the Sign up to Safety commitment to keep pharmacy staff informed, ensuring they remain up to date on topics and developments that could impact on patient safety.

Each MSO is a member of the recently created National Medication Safety Network, and acts as the main point of contact for their organisation with NHS England and the Medicines; Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on medication safety matters. All community pharmacies with over 50 branches must appoint their own MSO, typically the Superintendent Pharmacist or a member of their team. At request of NHS England, Pharmacy Voice founding member, the National Pharmacy Association, is acting as the MSO to the independent sector for pharmacies with fewer than 50 branches.

Janice Perkins, Pharmacy Voice board member and Superintendent of Well said: “Since pledging our support to NHS England’s Sign up to Safety campaign last year, Pharmacy Voice has been working to expand and develop this idea by creating a specific community pharmacy group. Patient safety is the most important consideration for all front-line health professionals, and it is vital that pharmacy teams are given guidance and share knowledge around how they can improve patient outcomes in a variety of circumstances. What is really special about the group is that although our businesses are all competitors in many regards, we are working together here for the benefit of patients and the public. We are collaborating because we are passionate about driving the patient safety agenda and developing practical solutions to issues that impact us all in our working practice.”

The primary aim of the Pharmacy Voice Patient Safety Group is to influence the patient safety culture across community pharmacy. Key priorities are:

Understanding the culture that underpins safe practice and in particular the human factors impacting the dispensing process;

Leaning from other industries with expertise in managing safety and risk e.g. the aviation industry;

Undertaking a proactive programme of research and audit building on Pharmacy Voice’s previous work;

Collaborating with other healthcare providers and in particular secondary care MSO contacts;

Understanding the impact of dispensary organisation and changes in practice on patient safety; and,

Developing patient safety best practice;

Pharmacy Voice will issue a Patient Safety Bulletin twice yearly to update on the Patient Safety Group’s progress. The first bulletin will be released in June.

Notes to editors

Pharmacy Voice is an association of trade bodies which brings together and speaks on behalf of community pharmacy. Pharmacy Voice is formed by the three largest community pharmacy owner associations. Together we are a stronger, unified voice for community pharmacy.