SHPA congratulates ACT Health on hospital pharmacy workforce investment

The Society of Hospitals Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government’s record commitment to its hospital pharmacy workforce as leading the way recognising the unique value and expertise of hospital pharmacists to improving medication safety and patient care.

The ACT Budget 2019-20 contains nearly $8 million over four years to upgrade facilities and employ new staff in The Canberra Hospital pharmacy department as well as $2.1 million over two years for the ACT to adopt Real Time Prescription Monitoring (RTPM).

Chief Executive Kristin Michaels says, on behalf of ACT members and hospital pharmacists across Canberra, SHPA looks forward to more detail on the significant expansion.

‘We are very pleased to see expanded pharmacy services at The Canberra Hospital as a government priority, both through capital expansion and new or expanded hospital pharmacist roles.

‘More hospitals pharmacists and improved working conditions in modernised facilities all contribute to the same outcome: safer and higher quality patient care for the acutely unwell in the national capital.

‘We commend ACT Health on their strong commitment to improving pharmacist-to-patient bed ratios, an important catalyst for optimal patient care outlined in the SHPA Standards of Practice for Clinical Pharmacy Services and referenced in SHPA’s ACT Budget 2019-20 submission in October last year.

Ms Michaels says as progressive advocates for clinical, evidence-based excellence, SHPA members support rigorous real time prescription monitoring.

‘ACT Health’s commitment to adopting RTPM by 2021 is an important step toward alleviating harm and hospital readmission due to medicines misadventure, particularly opioid-related dependency.

‘We look forward to coming together with key stakeholders in Canberra again in August for our second Medicines Leadership Forum, at which SHPA will lead discussion on the importance of efficient hospital discharge processes which prioritise clinical handover to primary care physicians for all Australians.’

SHPA also welcomed $70.4 million to align ACT Health Core IT Systems with Digital Health Strategy, around $20 million for mental health services and $42.5 million to expand Centenary Hospital for Women and Children as important elements of the total $1 billion for new and improved healthcare infrastructure across Canberra.

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