NSW Pharmacy Quarterly Stakeholder Forum 2022 - Communique

The Pharmacy Council of NSW has launched a new initiative involving a quarterly forum bringing together key pharmacy stakeholder agencies to discuss issues of relevance to the profession. The impetus for this initiative was an increase in complaints about pharmacists to the Health Care Complaints Commission and the Pharmacy Council. The specific purpose of the forum is to:

  • monitor regulatory issues that impact on the governance and performance of NSW pharmacists and owners of NSW pharmacies
  • identify key communication messages for pharmacists related to obligations and responsibilities of pharmacists in respect of the law, policies, guidelines and standards
  • develop an integrated approach to communicating with pharmacists
  • encourage a collaborative approach to the promotion of clinical governance and legislative compliance amongst pharmacists

Three forums have been held to date with the following agencies represented:

  •  Pharmacy Council of NSW
  •  Health Professional Councils Authority (HPCA)
  •  Health Care Complaints Commission
  •  Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW branch)
  •  Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (NSW branch)
  •  Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA)
  •  PDL
  •  Pharmacy Heads of Schools

Regulatory agencies have identified the majority of complaints received result from the lack of one or more of the following: clinical governance, procedures, insight, understanding of obligations and responsibilities, accountability. Other issues impacting on pharmacists include poor preceptor / intern experience, professional isolation; difficulties integrating theory and practice, lack of support and mentoring, lack of clinical knowledge and reasoning.
The professional associations identified a need for the group to work collaboratively to better educate pharmacists on their legislative responsibilities and how this is applied in day to day practice; a recognition of current workforce issues and difficulties pharmacist have in attracting and retaining staff; a need for better support and mentoring for pharmacists and particularly interns and early career pharmacists; and the impact of increased scope of practice, increased demands and expectations on pharmacists.
The Forum will issue communiques over the coming months providing guidance to the profession on its six top issues of concern:

  1.  Accountability of high risk medicines
  2.  Delivery of OTP services
  3.  Proprietor oversight
  4.  Compounding
  5.  Online prescribing / dispensing models
  6.  Cannabis products

September 2022