Secretary For Scotland's Report for Guild Council Meeting 8.2.2007

In the Press
11.11.06 - Professor David Kerr called for full implementation of his blueprint, expressing his frustration at politicians and communities who accepted his wide-ranging plans, then contested the changes when they began. But he was pleased with the progress of implementation and looking at the 12 sets of recommendations his report made a year ago, he said there had been progress in all of them.

14.11.06 - The Labour Party has reconsidered its stance on elections of health board members. They had been determined to stop the quangos being turned over to directly elected members but, under membership pressure, they plan to pilot such elections if they return to power after next year's Holyrood election.

21.11.06 - A £300m, 11 year, contract to provide the NHS in Scotland with a new computer network has been signed by the Health Minister.

25.11.06 - Scotland is not sufficiently prepared to deal with a major emergency such as a flu pandemic or terrorist attack, according to a new Scottish Executive study. There was concern about the lack of long-term recovery arrangements and the paper said "healthcare provision and mortuary facilities could be stretched beyond limits in a wide area emergency such as pandemic flu".

5.12.06 - The Labour Party manifesto promises health "MOT" for men over 40. The 30-minute health MoT - carried out by a doctor or nurse - would involve blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes tests.

8.12.06 - The Scottish Medicines for Children Network has been established to increase the number of licensed products available to treat children and to advance clinical research. It will also aim to develop the evidenced base for assessing products.

14.12.06 - Audit Scotland reported that the NHS in Scotland finished the last financial year with a surplus of £70.6 million, on a budget of £9 billion, compared with a deficit of £32 million the previous year. But Audit Scotland warned “all boards continue to face cost pressures and have to deliver efficiency savings, highlighting the need for robust long-term financial and service planning to meet the challenges that lie ahead."

18.12.06 - The National Workforce Planning Framework launched a new strategic workforce planning cycle. The National Workforce Plan 2006 forms part of that annual cycle. It shows that the number of pharmacists employed in NHSScotland is increasing while the number of pharmacists and technicians in training employed in NHSScotland has dropped.

20.12.06 - A strategy to enhance the vital role community hospitals play in Scotland's changing NHS has been launched.

23.01.07  - Plans to move hundreds of NHS Education for Scotland (NES) staff from Edinburgh to Glasgow will cost about £14m pounds and up to 70% do not want to move, according to official plans.

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EDA payment uplift
I circulated information throughout Scotland to alert reps to ensure that the EDA was increased in line with the payment on account. Greater Glasgow & Clyde had missed it in their calculations, but it is now being paid correctly.

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Scottish Health Service Senior Reps Committee 1.12.06
Distant Islands Allowance:A corrigendum to the letter is required to cover the Inner Hebrides so that everyone currently in receipt of the allowance continues to get it. An offshore allowance is being looked at.
The debate about allowances covered by AfC is still working its way through the system. The main arguments are over allowances not mentioned in the documentation
Healthcare Chaplains:All those working within the NHS (about 40 staff) will transfer to NHS employment on 1.1.07. Discussions with the Church of Scotland are still ongoing over the 400 part time chaplains working on a sessional basis.
Recruitment & Retention Premia:The conversion of protection into RPP is not automatic and must be approved by STAC. I have been discussing how this affects pharmacists and technicians with Michael Fuller.
Accelerated Progression:A draft paper has been approved, but it has still to be checked.
Transitional Points:a paper has gone to STAC.
Relocation of Special Health Boards:Discussions are underway on a relocation policy for NSS, and agreement on travelling time is sought.
Variation Orders:According to SEHD there will be no further orders. One has recently been issued without consultation for neonatal transport services. This has major implications for other groups of staff.
Senior Managers Pay:Still debating two points on opt-outs and future negotiating arrangements.
Equal Pay Claims:The Directors of HR talked to staff side about the production of a template to short circuit the procedure and reduce the grievance procedure steps.
St. Andrews Day Public Holiday:The proposal to make 30th November a public holiday is to go onto the STAC agenda.
Pensions Review:There had been 13 responses in Scotland so far and about 300 in England and Wales. SpensiR will meet on 9th January in order to get a decision to the Minister before the Parliamentary elections purdah. The missing information is to be produced in the form of technical appendices early in the New Year.

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Pensions Presentations 4.12.06/8.12.06
I presented the SpensiR PowerPoint presentation at meetings of the pharmacy staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

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Assimilation FAQs
I have been working with a small group within Glasgow and Clyde to produce an FAQ list for staff being assimilated. This has been completed and will be circulated within NHSGG&C soon.

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Assimilation workshop
I attended a training session for managers and staff side on assimilation and how to respond to staff questions.

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Work continues to compile the results from Scotland. Lanarkshire results are dire, with the number of staff lost now up to eight since the results came out. Other areas have fared better, and a few have still to come out.

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Annual report
The Annual Report of the Secretary of Scotland was submitted on time.

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RPSGB meeting Edinburgh 9/1/7
This meeting was held to give feedback on the responses to the consultation on the “Draft Principles of Pharmacy Education and Training” published by the RPSGB. It was an independent analysis of the results of the consultation and the stakeholder meetings by a member of the Kings Fund and the report will be available on the website. The RPSGB is hoping for adoption of the principles in March and consider that education straddles the areas of regulation and professional leadership.
They are looking at undergraduate and pre-registration courses and practice frameworks. They want to ensure commonality between curricula to ensure reciprocity between Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The Code of Ethics is also being revised as are the regulations. There is consensus –
· The purpose of education and training is to produce pharmacists and technicians · This has certain implications o Professionalism – should be ingrained from the start o Patient centred: medicines focussed o Selection of entrants – to MPharm and S/NVQ courses o Resources – money and people · Integration – pharmacists and technicians; undergraduate and pre-reg etc. · Assessment – match type to purpose with earlier and better assessment of competence · Devolution – principles should be the same across all four countries. But there are also implementation issues · Money – amount and source · People o Trainers: number (backfilling) skills (selection, teaching, assessment) o Role of patients o Study time for employees · Quality in education · Fitness to practice · Teaching, training, mentoring, development General changes to the principles document – · Clarify RPSGB role and responsibilities in generating and implementing the principles – the document will be a guide not a bible! · Partnership in implementation · Universality of implementation · Fitness to be a member of the profession of pharmacy – o Professionalism and competence (definitions and how to be broad and inclusive) · Fitness to practice as related to undergraduates, since they are not registrants. All regulators are being asked to look at student regulation. Discussion · What is the implementation timescale? This cannot be done until the money is there – that is the message that came through from the other professions. The building blocks need to be in place. · Is this vocational or scientific training? Patient centred with underpinning science. · Will selection be down to qualifications? Someone may have great qualifications but poor people skills or no common sense. It could potentially exclude many potentially good pharmacists It was felt that MPharm graduates should have a wide range of competencies at registration. It should not require a range of post-registration bolt-ons. Specific changes Selection · Selection should be for the profession of pharmacy in all its aspects (it should demonstrate that the applicant had the capacity to become a pharmacist but should not compromise on academic standards or proficiency in English) · Selection criteria should, where appropriate, promote flexibility (to be defined), inclusiveness and equal opportunities. (is a part-time course possible? Is there an ability to progress from technician to pharmacist?) Is there an existing person spec for an undergraduate student? It is the totality of the admission policies of the Schools of Pharmacy. Will a person spec not remove flexibility and inclusiveness etc.? This is a tightrope the RPSGB is trying to walk. Psychometric testing is not well liked or supported! Curriculum Two new statements have been added – · The basis of pharmacy education and training is competence and CPD · Curricula and their deliveries should be as flexible (to be defined) as possible within legal frameworks Should there be something about learning outcomes / best evidence-/practice-based education and ability to assess evidence base? Best evidence-based multi-disciplinary education? EU directives limit the number of years of the course. The content is only guidance – not direction. Assessment Also QA of assessments – reliability etc. · Assessments should be competence based and should include an appropriate range of training methods not just examinations · Assessments should be patient focussed and about hearing the patient voice · Formative and summative – pharmacy undergraduates appear over-assessed at the moment Fitness to Practice Not discipline. Engagement with professional education and training in pharmacy should be on the basis that individuals are fit to practice – the organisations are responsible. Who do you report people to? Need proportionality in response to the problem as someone could lose their livelihood. Locus of responsibility – partnership and the role of the RPSGB. Should be looking for behaviour patterns which raise doubt on their fitness to practice. Must also consider that students will be students! Teaching and Training This is as much about “developing the next generation” as the CPD of registered pharmacists and technicians. Everyone is involved in this – p7.2 Code of Ethics – You must share relevant knowledge, skills and expertise with others and support colleagues and trainers in developing their professional competence. Another paragraph states that if you delegate, you must be sure that those you delegate to have the skills and competence required. Resources A showstopper? RPSGB are determined that it shouldn’t be. A resource consists of money people and time. Quality Definition and interpretation of QA. There were lots of responses to this and it appeared to have tied people in knots. It will be necessary to explain exactly what is meant. Devolution No change. This should not impact on the principles. The direction seems to be towards an integrated degree and pre-registration year. It was noted that neither public health nor prescribing appeared in the practice framework.

Colin Rodden
2 February 2007

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