The Ballots are Out

They started hitting the post boxes this morning.  The ballot papers for this round of Council elections.  If yours haven’t arrived by Monday, Tuesday at the latest give Fenian St a ring and find out where they are.  They may have gone to an old address.

It’s vital that we get a good turnout to ensure a strong representation for independent community pharmacy.

Ballots have to be back in Fenian St by Wednesday 19th April so vote early and post early.  Don’t forget to follow the instructions on the sheet as if it were a CD prescription.  With an educated electorate there should be no excuses for any spoiled votes.

I’ll nail my colours to the mast here.  I will be voting Nicola Cantwell No 1 and Sean Reilly No 2 and then continuing for other independent community candidates and I call on you all to do likewise.  I’m not ignore pharmacists working in other areas but I am a small independent community pharmacist and I want to have my voice listened to at Council.

Sean Reilly MPSI

I am Sean Reilly and I am asking you to Vote 1 Reilly

I am very proud to be an independent community pharmacist since I qualified in 1992.
I am the superintendent pharmacist and I face customers daily in my sole store.

Our profession needs to aspire to the highest achievable standards to flourish. This is always going to involve challenges as workflows will constantly modernise into the future.

We are currently getting to grips with formally recording our CPD, very soon we will be challenged by electronic prescribing and the Falsified Medicines Directive.
Well-motivated, well rested pharmacists are essential to ensure delivery of top class patient safety.

I want to make sure that the systems the PSI puts in place around these particular initiatives, and all others, are part of the solution for all pharmacists, not just the very well resourced.

Routine notified inspections were a sensible move forward by the stakeholders. I want to build on from there.

The current PSI setup is often accused of approaching its constituents with the view that low standards and errant behaviour are the norm and only for their strict invigilation patients are threatened. I will not accept this position. As we all know, the vast majority of our colleagues are caring, extremely highly trained and competent professionals.
Regulation should be at least as much about encouraging buy in to high standards as it is tough on those unwilling to comply.
I will work night and day to get PSI to accept this as the opening position in all future proposals.

I standing for election because:

  • I have witnessed at first hand, on a couple of occasions, the shattering blows to confidence of young pharmacists on initial contact with the complaints procedure, complaints that were subsequently not upheld. It will be my priority to review the fitness to practice system ensuring entry to it is an absolute last resort.
  • A desire to build on the effective work of my predecessors coming off Council I am very keen for my supporters to vote 2 Cantwell
  • Over the last decade I have represented my colleague pharmacists in many forums, it is very important to me to put back into our community what I can. Some roles where I have previously put myself forward for election, successfully
    • Elected to IPU Executive committee and served for six years
      (Involved in strategic direction and policy setting at a national level, with experience of what worked well and the obstacles of what did not)
    • Chairman of the independent Life Pharmacy symbol group
      (Strong representation of colleagues in a new direction for independent pharmacists.)
    • Served on the IT subgroup within the IPU.
      (Familiarity with the technical aspects of ePrescribing, software standards and FMD requirements)
  • I have wide experience of three different approaches to quality systems, their implementation and supervision. As a licensee of all the PSI, HPRA and the IAA (aviation). I can bring a different, lateral perspective to the table.

Please VOTE 1 REILLY and continue your preferences #2 Nicola Cantwell, rest of my community colleagues

Michael E. Lyons MPSI

My name is Michael Lyons, I am looking for your number one vote in the upcoming PSI Council election. I am an individual with no corporate agenda and I feel I can be a productive member of the Council.

By way of background, I have a wide experience as an employee pharmacist and more recently as an independent community pharmacy owner. I joined the PSI register in 2011 after graduating from the University of Kent with a Masters Degree in Pharmacy and following my pre-registration year in Belfast I went on to work in community pharmacy support roles in Cork and Dublin.

In 2015 I returned to education and combined studying the Barrister -at- Law Degree at the Honorable Society of Kings Inns, with working as a pharmacist at The Maple Pharmacy, Cabra, Dublin. I was called to the Irish Bar in 2016 and I also became a Pharmacy owner together with my brother when we opened our own Pharmacy in our hometown of Fermoy in Co. Cork.

I respectfully submit that the PSI Council’s number one objective is to protect the health and safety of the public by regulating pharmacists and pharmacies. This puts the pharmacists interests second to the patients and rightly so, however, I do feel that I am in a unique position being a community Pharmacist and a Barrister in that I have the necessarily skills and confidence to speak up and argue that by looking after pharmacists, treating them with the respect the profession deserves, we are in a much better place to protect the health and safety of the public.

In terms of agenda, in addition to the broad scope of developing and protecting the pharmacy profession, there are many issues which I would raise including the following;

With immediate effect, I will campaign for a just and lasting solution to the issues around Pharmaceutical Assistants.

I welcome Continued Professional Development, and I fully support the Future Pharmacy Practice report, I will be fully supporting the expanding role of the pharmacist, in particular pharmacists training as supplementary prescribers in this jurisdiction.

Pharmacist registration fees, I will campaign for a reduction in continued registration fees for newly qualified pharmacists. I believe an incremental model of fees would be better suited for pharmacy profession.

I will work with the PSI Council with passion and I will strive to bring my experience as a young community pharmacist to the table. I will highlight the challenges that pharmacist’s face on a daily basis, conflict can sometimes occur between different members of the Council, and what may appear to work on paper from a non-pharmacist point of view can very often pose to be a challenge on the ground and result in a disproportionate workload for the profession, which could in turn result in a decreased level of patient care.

I think there is a delicate balance to be achieved in decision making and I am confident that I have the skills gathered from my varied experience and professional qualifications to assist in this process. My unique qualifications will enable me to be a useful bridge between the pharmacist and non-pharmacist members of the Council and likewise between the Council and the Executive of the PSI.

I should also acknowledge that I have been newly appointed to the PSI’s expert witness panel and I also sit on the PSI’s Registration and Qualification Recognition Committee in an advisory capacity.

It would be a privilege for me to serve on the PSI Council, I aim to be an open and approachable candidate, who will listen and actively take on board my colleagues concerns.

Finally, I would like to thank my proposers- Dr Bernard Leddy, former president of the PSI and my brother and business partner Brendan Lyons for their continued support.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any queries. I encourage everyone to vote, it is imperative for the profession, that we have community pharmacists on the Council.

Michael Lyons, Number 1

Louisa Power MPSI

I have wanted to be a pharmacist for as long as I can remember. One of my first memories is watching mesmerised as my grandfather making ointments in his white coat. My proudest moment was getting my registration certificate from the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland as I had realised my dreams and was now a pharmacist.

I have worked as a clinical, community and non traditional pharmacist in Ireland and the UK. I have been inspired by every pharmacist that I have worked with. My trailblazing pre reg tutor instilled in me the confidence to take the leap of faith to go to the UK. The UK opened my eyes to a world of clinical pharmacy where pharmacists are an integral part of the team and pharmacy technicians provide a vital role in pharmaceutical care.

I have always pushed boundaries and challenged traditions from being appointed a Chief Pharmacist at 27 to my current role in regulation which is innovative and unique whilst keeping touch with community pharmacy at all times.

I am passionate about best possible pharmaceutical care for every patient across all sectors. I aspire to be part of a Council that ensures that pharmacists are empowered and facilitated to be the best they can be and are leaders in healthcare. As a young female pharmacist working in a non traditional role, I want the Council to represent me and my values.

This is a challenging but exciting time for pharmacy in Ireland. The following are the four key areas that I want to address as a member of the Council:
– a network of support for pharmacists who work in a non traditional role
– implementation of a framework to further develop and enhance clinical pharmacy services
– investment and increase in community pharmacy services in line with the Future Pharmacy Practice in Ireland report
– assurance that pharmacy eduction including undergraduate, intern, post graduate and continuing professional development to ensure that pharmacists are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the needs of today’s patients.

As pharmacists, this is our opportunity to ensure that the governing council of our regulator is transparent, meaningful and reflects today’s pharmacist. I kindly ask you to vote for me as a pharmacist who appreciates the challenges of all sectors and who has always demonstrated her commitment to the profession and best possible pharmaceutical care.

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.