The Hospital Pharmacists Association has it origins in the Hospital & Public Pharmacists Association formed in 1953. That organisation received a licence to negotiate as a Trade Union (under the 1941 Trade Union Act) from the then Dept of Industry and Commerce. Subsequently that association negotiated a two tier structure of Pharmacist and Assistant Pharmacist grade in hospitals and secured a 100% pay rise.
In 1968 The HPPA assigned their negotiating licence to a large Trade Union as they were lacked the critical mass to successful attain their own goals in negotiations. In 1977 the HPPA was renamed as the Association of Hospital Pharmacists of Ireland.
Following demand for a Career & Salary Review in 1974 a joint Working Party was established which first met in September 1976. In January of 1978 the Chemist and Druggist noted “hospital pharmacist's role is expected to receive a significant boost as a result of the report of a joint working group, currently with the Minister for Health.” The report was finally published in October of that year.
Prior to the Working Party Report there was no definition of the role of Hospital Pharmacist and only two staff grades existed (Pharmacist and Assistant Pharmacist). Furthermore the focus of hospital pharmacists in the 1970’s was on Medicines Procurement, Dispensary services, Medicines Information (still in its developmental stage) and Training & Education.
As a result of the Working Party Report the role of the Hospital Pharmacist was defined. Furthermore a place for the Pharmacist on Hospital Committees (Drugs and Therapeutics, Infection Control) was implemented. The report also recognised the need for local and national Drug Information services and envisaged pharmacist input on national medicines pricing.
Importantly the working party recommended a new 3 tier grading structure of Pharmacist, Senior Pharmacist, and Chief Pharmacist (I or II). This is the grading structure that still applies in most Irish Hospitals.
Following the publication of the report the Association used the statutory machinery of the time (Scheme of Conciliation and Arbitration for the Civil Service) to successfully process its pay claim.