Hospital Pharmacists celebrate FIVE years of achievement and growth in specialisation

Hospital Pharmacists celebrate FIVE years of achievement and growth in specialisation

The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has today marked five-years of success in its Specialty Practice program at the two-day Specialty Practice Leaders Forum attended by leading Hospital Pharmacists from around Australia.

SHPA Chief Executive Ms Kristin Michaels says, ‘SHPA is proud to launch the Five Years of Specialty Practice report celebrating the last five years of achievement, and strengthening the program for the next five years, not just for Hospital Pharmacists, but for the entire pharmacy sector.

‘Spanning 31 specialties, Specialty Practice has been essential to SHPA’s strategic priorities, harnessing and empowering our greatest collective asset, specialised member expertise, to influence policy, regulation and practice, supporting best practice in medicines management to improve health outcomes for Australian patients.’

‘Specialty Practice has been instrumental in SHPA’s role in defining the role of residential aged care pharmacists, achieving changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing of high-risk opioid analgesics to reduce harm, and providing clinical advice to the Therapeutic Goods Administration on managing complex and critical medicine shortages.

‘Ahead of tomorrow’s Jobs and Skills Summit, Health Minister Mark Butler has outlined supporting clinicians throughout their career as one of the new Government’s three health workforce priorities. SHPA’s Specialty Practice program has done exactly that for the pharmacy sector.

‘The online Specialty Practice community is a crucial support for pharmacists in their day-to-day practice, working at the coalface in a fragmented healthcare system, and especially so during the uncertainty and demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

Since 2017, more than 260 members have served on a Specialty Practice Leadership Committee, with 70% of those leaders being female, and more than 2,600 pharmacists and technicians actively participating in a specialty group, achieving meaningful representation in the hospital pharmacy sector.

At the Specialty Practice Leaders Forum, supported by Roche, Hospital Pharmacy leaders heard from Dr Norman Swan, renowned journalist and broadcaster, on the role of media in quality use of medicines and medicines safety.

Ms Michaels says, ‘Through Specialty Practice, in the past five years SHPA has published 12 new or updated Standards of Practice, and launched Advanced Training Residencies across eight disciplines including cancer care, critical care and mental health. This inaugural specialist pharmacist training program in Australia will train the next generation of expert pharmacists to facilitate workforce sustainability.’

‘We can’t wait to see what the next five years of Specialty Practice brings for the pharmacy sector and the Australians they provide care for.’