Caroline McGrath MPSI

My name is Caroline McGrath and I am running in the upcoming PSI council election. You will see me listed on the ballot paper as Rose Caroline McGrath. I have been a member of the PSI council since October 2014 and I would very much welcome the opportunity to continue my work with the Council.

My current role is as Clinical Governance Pharmacist with Boots. I have previously held roles as Support Pharmacist, Supervising Pharmacist, Pharmacy Manager and Area Pharmacy Manager. My experience allows me to bring the perspective of a practising community pharmacist to the work of council.

If elected, I will continue to work to promote effective regulation which is fair and proportionate for all. I am passionate about maximising the benefits that pharmacy can bring to patients, and I will work to drive the implementation of the Future Pharmacy Practice report across all sectors of pharmacy, as I believe this is truly in the interest of patients and pharmacists alike.

I am asking you to consider giving me your Number 1 vote

Veronica Treacy, MBA, BSc Pharm, Cert Pharm Pract, MPSI

To my pharmacist colleagues,

The ballot papers for The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland Council elections will be landing in your letterboxes within the next ten days. I would ask you to consider

Veronica Treacy, MBA, BSc Pharm, Cert Pharm Pract, MPSI for your No. 1 vote

My name is Veronica Treacy and I am looking for your number 1 vote in the upcoming elections for pharmacist members to serve on the Council of The Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland (PSI).

As a new Council member, I will work to:

  • Promote the profession of pharmacy and the role it can play in healthcare provision in the future.
  • Strengthen the development and promotion of high professional standards and best practice for all pharmacists.
  • Advance the exploration of further collaborative practice between, hospital and community pharmacy, particularly at transitions of care to enhance patient safety.
  • Protect and maintain the health, safety and wellbeing of patients and the public

I have an extensive track record in developing and managing hospital pharmacy services both in Ireland and the UK. I have been President of the Hospital Pharmacist Association of Ireland (2005-2007), which has given me further insight into the Pharmacy Act 2007, and the legislative system. More recently, I was the project co-ordinator for the Future Pharmacy Practice in Ireland- Meeting Patients’ Needs Report. (Published November 2016, ), which clearly outlines the potential future role of the pharmacist.

I have maintained many links with community pharmacy over the course of my career. I have a good understanding of the challenges we all face in developing our profession in the years ahead. Community pharmacy has a unique network and role in contributing to the health and well-being of the public both now and in the future.

As the former Director of Pharmacy for St James’ Hospital I have promoted, the role of the pharmacist as a risk manager, ensuring medication safety for the patients in our hospitals, at transitions of care, and in nursing homes/non acute care settings and community pharmacy.

If elected I will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to council, having served as an expert on the PSI Inspection Policy Project Expert Group (2014), on the National Forum for Pharmacy Education and Accreditation (2013/2014), and as a Steering Group member for the baseline study for hospital pharmacy (2011).

Thank you.

I appreciate your vote and support.

Nicola Cantwell MPSI

I have been on the PSI Council for the last four years and during that time, I have worked hard to ensure that the views of patient facing pharmacists are considered during Council meetings. The value of our skill set cannot be underestimated and the practicality of life at the ‘coal face’ must be taken into account when the PSI is carrying out its role of public protection and looking after the welfare of the patient. I have worked primarily in community pharmacy and have also spent 5 years in hospital pharmacy. I understand the different challenges of both types of dispensary and the need for regulation which is specific to, and appropriate for both.

At the moment, I am on a career break from the pharmacy technician course in IT Carlow and am working as a Locum in the South East. I also do some OTC training and have recently started working with Caredoc where I am developing medication management policies. While I don’t have any experience in the pharmacy industry, I do appreciate that pharmacists in that area also need representation and as a former member of the PIER group I am familiar with some of the areas of concern to them.

The reason I ran for Council 4 years ago was because I love the profession. It may sound corny but nothing beats the satisfaction of good patient care. I appreciate that we all have to make a living but for me, the best pharmacists are the ones who go the extra mile for a patient purely to make life easier for them. Not everyone gets that or appreciates that patient safety is not all about guidelines and regulations. It’s about using your clinical skills and professional judgment to do what is right for your patient. The pharmacists on Council, be they community, hospital, industry or academic should all have the safety and welfare of the patient at the centre of everything they do and use their voices to ensure that the profession is regulated in a way that is practical and allows us do our jobs. My view hasn’t changed since then, nor is it likely to. I’m not running for Council to bulk up my CV or as a stop on the way to something bigger and better, I’m running because I think I am good at what I do and because I have always thought that if you are not prepared to change something then you relinquish the right to moan about it. Pharmacists are needed on Council not only for the regulatory aspect but also for Fitness to Practice. The mix of skills between the pharmacists and lay-members is important to ensure that the safety of the patient and welfare of public is protected while providing a balance in regulation.
 I would urge everyone reading this post to cast their votes as soon as the ballot papers arrive and to encourage all of their pharmacy friends to do the same. Ideally, I would like as a high a preference on the ballot paper as possible but the most important thing to do is vote! This is our one opportunity to influence how our profession is regulated and I would ask everyone on the register to vote.

PSI Council behaving like a child

Yesterdays events at the public session of the PSI Council had the Council behaving like a badly behaved child running around with their hands over their ears going “Nah, nah, nah, I can’t hear you!”  We have been waiting for many years now for a statement from the Council on the issue of temporary absence.  They continually fail to engage meaningfully with the Assistants Association.  They will not respond to the Assistants in relation to the senior counsels opinion on the matter, probably because they do not like it.  Sadly for them they do not make the law.  They are not even responsible for interpreting it.  So in the meantime they continue in their attempts to bully employers and assistants into following their “guidelines”.

There was a real hope that a new Registrar from outside the world of pharmacy could bring about some changes but it seems that he too has been sucked in by the quango that is the PSI executive.

The public sessions of the Council are little more than a showpiece event in a hopeless attempt to give the impression of any openness.  In reality the secrecy around this set pieces makes a mockery of openness and accountability.  It is impossible to get a copy of reports from sub-committees or even the minutes of the previous Council meeting.  Members of the public are made to sit in a corner of without a proper view of the room.  They are unwilling even to provide a table to assist in the keeping of notes.  I have no doubt they they would just love it if they could do away with the whole notion of a public session and carry on all of their business behind closed doors away from any accountability.

So to me it was no surprise that matters blew over when they refused to accept any contribution from the floor yesterday.  The Assistants Association have heard nothing back despite numerous phone calls and emails.  As I have experienced many time it has needed a second follow up just to get an acknowledgment of the original.

Just like another organisation the Assistants have not gone away you know.  They will be back for the next Council meeting and the next and the next.  And the PSI will have better get used to that!

When is stock returnable to the wholesalers?

We’ve all had the letters from the HSE asking us to return our unused High Tech stock to the wholesalers.  Never mind all the extra paperwork that they want all this comes at a time when all of us are scrambling to sort out stock levels ahead of the price reduction on the back of the HSE/IPHA agreement.  But then as pointed out on another pharmacy forum all of this stock, while still in date has been delivered by the wholesalers more than 10 days ago.  This is the cut off after which we are not allowed to return any stock for credit.  So it seems we have one law for the HSE and one for the rest of us poor suckers.

It’s time for the left hand to start talking to the right hand.  If it’s good enough for the HSE then it’s good enough for the rest of us.  And remember this High Tech stock is not being returned for any magical transformation.  It’s going to be used on other sick patients.

So I say let’s not return any of the surplus High Techs until we can also return our regular surplus stock.  And let’s get paid for what we do.  If the HSE want us to spend time digging up old paperwork on these then they should bloody well pay us for our time.  If they want to know how much to pay me then they should sit down with the IPU.  That’s who I pay to represent me in these matters.