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Pharmacists call for incentives to take part in research

Professional Pharmacists have been “overlooked” by previous research schemes that favoured doctors and nurses, said Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Pharmacy Voice in their responses to NHS England consultation

Pharmacists need cash incentives and access to patient records before they can play a bigger part in NHS-commissioned research, pharmacy bodies have said.

Pharmacists had been "overlooked" by previous research schemes that favoured doctors and nurses, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and Pharmacy Voice said in their responses to an NHS England consultation on its research strategy.

Offering funding to pharmacists as an incentive would be "instrumental" in ensuring they took part in future research, the RPS said last week (January 29).

Offering funding to pharmacists as an incentive would be instrumental in ensuring they took part in future research, the RPS said

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The society called on NHS England and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to ensure pharmacists had "equity of access to funding" and to raise awareness of existing research opportunities that the sector could become involved in.

The sector's contribution to research was also inhibited by a lack of access to patient records, which prevented pharmacists from identifying appropriate patients for studies or understanding when patient interventions had a positive outcome, the RPS said.

NHS England's research strategy could have a key role in stimulating debate over pharmacy's ability to improve patient outcomes and it should be linked to NHS England's Call to Action consultation on pharmacy, the RPS added.

Pharmacy Voice pointed out that NHS England had only referred to medical and nursing schools in its strategy document and called for the commissioning body to engage "the whole cadre of healthcare professions", including pharmacy.

Pharmacy Voice would support funding for clinical academic training to be opened up to include pharmacists, who already made a "significant contribution" to designing and delivering research into primary care, it said in its own consultation response.

"[Pharmacists'] activities range from small-scale audits [and] masters student projects, right up to NIHR randomised controlled trials. As such, community pharmacists and their teams should be considered a key partner in delivering the research ambitions outlined within [NHS England's] strategic framework," Pharmacy Voice said.

NHS England wanted to ensure the research it commissioned was patient-centred and was used to develop innovative practice, it said when it launched the consultation in December. The consultation ended last Friday (January 31), but NHS England said its research strategy would remain in draft form until mid-February while it waited for views from stakeholders and patients.

Last month, primary care leaders reported that pharmacy had the potential to improve public heath but more hard evidence was needed to prove the value of some services.

How can pharmacies prove the effectiveness of their services?

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Andrew Low, Community pharmacist

Research is goal to be aspired to in pharmacy,a Holy Grail.It would give pharmacy a huge endorsement to know that what we do has a beneficial effect on patients,that stamp or seal that says we are useful as healthcare providers.
As someone with schizophrenia I,and other family members,have taken part in research at the Institute of Psychiatry in London,and for other centres,and there was a small remuneration for us as volunteers.One of these studies was under Dr.James MacCabe and Professor Sir Robin Murray,at the IOP.
I'd like to study one of my symptoms,vulnerability to the sound of coughing and traffic,on the counter and try and quantify the effect of all that coughing there is on a chemist's counter in a pharmacy.A qualitative analysis might be appreciated somewhere to,a description of how it feels.

bhupendra lakhani, Community pharmacist

Lets understand that TIME is Money
No money No outcomes

Pankaj Sodha, Community pharmacist

They will hide behind the word "evidence"

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

Funding for Pharmacists eh!? I see a flying pig coming over the horizon.......

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