Updated Royal Pharmaceutical Society Hospital Pharmacy Standards published

The updated Professional Standards for Hospital Pharmacy Services published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society provide a framework to improve current services, shape future services and roles and deliver safer, high quality patient care.

Applicable across acute hospital, mental health, private, community service, prison, hospice and ambulance settings in Great Britain, the new Standards have been developed in accordance with the NICE accreditation process, the gold standard of guidance production.

The eight standards were produced through an extensive consultation and strong cross-sectoral engagement with the profession, multidisciplinary teams and patients.

“The Standards are the embodiment of patient-centred care,” says Nigel Westwood, Steering Group patient representative. “There is a strong focus on putting the patient first and the emphasis is on ensuring we are fully involved in our care and can share decisions about suggested treatments and medicines.”

The Standards give a framework that can be used by Chief Pharmacists, Directors of Pharmacy and their teams to initiate reviews of their own systems and processes in the continual drive to improve patient safety.

The Standards are the embodiment of patient centred care. There is a strong focus on putting the patient first and the emphasis is on ensuring we are fully involved in our care.

Jatinder Harchowal, Chief Pharmacist at the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and Steering Group member, says “The overriding aim of the standards is to enable patients to experience a consistent quality of service from within and across healthcare providers that protects them from incidents of avoidable harm and enables them to get the best outcomes from their medicines. They also help deliver the safe, effective management of medicines within and across organisations.”

The accompanying updated Professional Standards Handbook shows where a standard refers to relevant legal frameworks and the core standards required by regulators, and provides links to supporting resources that can assist with implementation.

A presentation on the Standards is available to help explain them to key stakeholders such as hospital teams, Chief Executives and Boards and case studies of how the standards are being used in practice supplement this.

In addition, the RPS Hospital Expert Advisory Group has developed a consensus on definitions for benchmarking metrics to enable acute hospitals to collect data in a consistent way to enable benchmarking of performance.

“We’d really like to hear from people who use the Standards to find out how they have implemented them to find gaps in their services or improve patient safety,” said Rob Duncombe, Chair of the group.

“Please get in touch with us so we can share best practice together. Email us at”

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is recruiting to its Hospital Expert Advisory Group which provides expertise on issues of hospital practice which impact on the pharmacy profession.

For more information on how to apply please also contact


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