Consultant pharmacist Hub page

We have developed this online guide to support pharmacists aspiring to become consultant pharmacists and those currently in the role. The guide will also be useful to commissioners/pharmacy leaders interested in creating consultant pharmacist posts. 

In 2003, the Department of Health published , this stated:

"We want to build on this success through the establishment of consultant pharmacist posts. These will enable clinical excellence and leadership to be recognised. Consultant pharmacists may be supplementary prescribers or become independent prescribers or other clinical specialists. They should support medicines management in hospitals and play a leading role in training pharmacists and other health professionals locally. They should also be well placed to influence the use of medicines across the wider local health community."

In 2005, the Department of Health published . 

Consultant Pharmacist roles have now existed within the NHS for over 10 years. There are aspirations from the English and Welsh Governments to increase the number of Consultant Pharmacists working in the NHS. As described in the , consultant pharmacists have four main functions: Expert practice; Research, evaluation and service development; Education, mentoring and overview of practice and Professional leadership. The need for and type of consultant pharmacists are decided locally. 

Existing specialist areas

  • Acute Admissions
  • Anticoagulation
  • Antimicrobials
  • Cancer
  • Oncology
  • Cardiothoracic transplantation+Mechanical Circulatory Supports
  • Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Care of Older People
  • Community Healthcare
  • Critical Care
  • Gastroenterology
  • Haemotology
  • HIV Medicine
  • Medicine and Medication Safety
  • Mental Health
  • Paediatrics Neonatal
  • Nutrition/ Parenteral Nutrition
  • Pain Management
  • Palliative Care
  • Perioperative care
  • Primary Care potential
  • Public Health
  • Radiopharmacy, Nuclear Medicine
  • Renal
  • Respiratory Medicine
  • Substance Misuse

Consultant Pharmacist Toolkit

A Consultant Pharmacist Toolkit has been developed by the Medicines Use and Safety Team. This can be accessed on the . The toolkit contains:

  • Eight examples of Consultant Pharmacist achievement, by specialty, from information presented at the June 2015 ten year anniversary event.
  • An information sheet to support the development of business cases.
  • A document providing overview, background and information which may be useful to pharmacy leads in completion of the interim approval process for consultant posts.

The toolkit would be particularly useful for commissioners and pharmacy leaders seeking to nominate a Consultant Pharmacist.

NHS context

Consultant pharmacists play a key role in delivering national targets and will find it useful to be aware of current NHS strategies, agendas and reports such as the NHS RightCare programme, we have described this in our Ultimate Guide for Chief Pharmacists (this currently provides context for England).  

Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee and Londep Wales Report: Your Care, Your Medicines Report: Pharmacy at the heart of patient-centred care discusses the integration of consultant pharmacists into hospital teams as well as the establishment of consultant pharmacist posts.

In Scotland National Health Education (NES) are reviewing post –graduate education and development and will be exploring how consultant pharmacists posts might strengthen pharmacy services  and  improve patient care in NHS Scotland 

Aspiring Consultant Pharmacists

RPS Faculty and Competency RPS Faculty and Competency

The RPS Faculty provides a structure for your professional development. We highly recommend that you use the tools to identify your areas good practice and areas for development. This will help you focus your learning. Joining the RPS Faculty gives you the opportunity to benchmark and perhaps distinguish yourself from your peers; gaining a post-nominal to reflect your stage of advanced practice as you do so. You also receive access to a library of tools and resources to support your professional development.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consultant pharmacists are expected to have a minimum of Expert Professional Practice, Collaborative Working Relationships and Leadership at Mastery, with Management, Education, Training and Development, and Research and Evaluation at Advanced Stage II. It should be remembered that these are the minimum requirements for a specific post, therefore a consultant pharmacist could apply for a post with Advanced Stage II and their Faculty portfolio and Professional Development Plan could be used a plan to develop and advance to Fellowship stage within 5 years.

We are working with the Consultant Pharmacists Group to determine a career pathway.




RPS Roadmap to advanced practice RPS Roadmap to advanced practice

The RPS Roadmap to Advanced Practice supports the development and assessment of Advanced Practitioners, both specialist and generalist. Our section on the context for change: establishing the need for advanced pharmacists provides the following information:

“The RPS Consultant Pharmacist Group has developed a strategy to align Consultant Pharmacist support and development with patient need across the three nations, alongside the Foundation and Faculty programmes and RPS professional development imperatives. (see appendix 3 for further information)”

The roadmap also contains information on National training programmes (NTPs), which will be delivered by RPS Affiliated Partners, NTPS will address pharmacy clinical training needs from post-foundation through advanced levels of career development up to Consultant level. 

RPS Mentoring RPS Mentoring

You may find it helpful to have the support of an RPS Mentor. Further information on our mentoring programme and how to obtain a mentor are available on our website

Non-medical Prescribing Non-medical Prescribing

Prescribing may form part of your role as consultant pharmacist. The RPS are developing an Ultimate Guide for Prescribing Pharmacists which is due to published in December 2017. Support for pharmacist prescribers can be found on our website

Existing Consultant Pharmacists

RPS Faculty and Competency RPS Faculty and Competency

The RPS Faculty provides a structure for your professional development. We highly recommend that you use the tools to identify your areas good practice and areas for development. This will help you focus your learning. Joining the RPS Faculty gives you the opportunity to benchmark and perhaps distinguish yourself from your peers; gaining a post-nominal to reflect your stage of advanced practice as you do so. You also receive access to a library of tools and resources to support your professional development.

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, consultant pharmacists are expected to have a minimum of Expert Professional Practice, Collaborative Working Relationships and Leadership at Mastery, with Management, Education, Training and Development, and Research and Evaluation at Advanced Stage II. It should be remembered that these are the minimum requirements for a specific post, therefore a consultant pharmacist could apply for a post with Advanced Stage II and their Faculty portfolio and Professional Development Plan could be used a plan to develop and advance to Fellowship stage within 5 years.

Mentoring Mentoring

If you are interested in mentoring aspiring consultant pharmacists or would like to receive the support of a mentor, please : [email protected]

Leadership development Leadership development

The RPS Leadership Development Framework outlines the behaviours of effective, engaging leadership – the behaviours that enable pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists to make a real difference to care and outcomes. Our Ultimate guide for Chief Pharmacists contains further information to support leadership development. 

RPS affiliated groups RPS affiliated groups

The RPS work with a range of affiliated partners who provide training and education. Consultant Pharmacists may be interested in joining some of these groups and they may link to your speciality.

Further information on RPS affiliated groups can be found on our website:  http://londep.info/about-us/working-with-other-organisations

Expert advisory groups Expert advisory groups

We have a number of expert panels and groups formed of members with specific areas of expertise relating to pharmacy, pharmaceutical science and the pharmacy profession. Further information on our expert advisory groups can be found on our website . Consultant pharmacists may be involved with these groups. For further information about any of the panels and groups please [email protected]

Patient safety Patient safety

Our Ultimate Guide Our Ultimate guide for Chief Pharmacists contains further information on patient safety and errors. 

Service evaluation Service evaluation

We have produced a , Pharmacy QS. Its purpose is to introduce quality systems and quality improvement, acting as a hub to the fantastic improvement resources of others, and as a platform for sharing pharmacy experiences in quality improvement. The Quality improvement tools and stories may be particularly useful to consultants

Medicines optimisation Medicines optimisation

RPS has a dedicated medicines optimisation hub.

Providing medicines related advice to prescribers

Comprehensive information about medication review can be found in the document, 2008, published by the National Prescribing Centre.

You might find our Medicines adherence quick reference guide helpful when conducting a clinical medication review.

High risk medicines High risk medicines

Consultant pharmacists can improve patient safety through providing support with the safe use of high risk medicines.  

  aims to reduce events which could cause avoidable harm from healthcare delivered in any primary care setting and has developed a number of tools and resources to support this. The Safer Medicines work stream focuses on the prescribing and monitoring of high risk medicines.

Monitoring medicines use Monitoring medicines use

The following resources will support Consultant Pharmacists in monitoring medicines use within their speciality:

Near Miss Error Quick Reference Guide

Professional Standards for the Reporting, Learning, Sharing, Taking Action and Review of Incidents

NHS Safety Thermometer, this “provides a 'temperature check' on harm that can be used alongside other measures of harm to measure local and system progress in providing a care environment free of harm for our patients."

Further information is available on the . The tool is useful for a range of settings including the patient’s own home.

Department of Health has produced .

A number of tools have also been developed. The Tool in particular may be of interest to Consultant Pharmacists. 

Commissioning and financial flows related to medicines Commissioning and financial flows related to medicines

Our ultimate guide for chief pharmacists contains information on this which is also useful for consultant pharmacists. 

Research Research

Research forms a core element of consultant pharmacist posts. Consultant Pharmacists posts form links with higher education institutes. The RPS believes all pharmacy professionals should be supported to engage, support and lead research and to aid professionals in building research and evaluation skills, we have created a Research, Evidence and Evaluation Toolkit (REET).

Education Education

A key role of Consultant Pharmacists is education. As outlined in the SPS , you may be supporting those undertaking postgraduate education, you could be supporting pre-registration trainees, foundation pharmacists and advanced pharmacists. The RPS has a number of resources for Tutors to enable you to be a confident, empowered and effective tutor. 

Commissioner

What can they offer/deliver against priorities and target? What can they offer/deliver against priorities and target?

for Consultant Pharmacist Post has information on benefits of the post.

has information on what the role entails and what consultant pharmacists can offer, as well as information on what current posts have achieved.

The Consultant Pharmacist Toolkit provides details of existing roles and depending on local need this may help decide on posts that may benefit your local population. 

Recognition of posts Recognition of posts

Recognition of posts in England are currently organised by Health Education England through the four Deaneries:

  • London and the South East
  • Midlands and East
  • North
  • South
Plans to introduce Consultants Pharmacists to the NHS in Wales were approved in December 2013, further information can be found on the website. 

Pharmacy leads page

Benefits from existing roles (what kind of roles exist), how do they benefit patients and organisation Benefits from existing roles (what kind of roles exist), how do they benefit patients and organisation

Benefits of the post are described in .

We have highlighted existing roles earlier in this guidance here.

Specialist Pharmacy Services (SPS) has produced guidance to support understanding of the role and how to establish a post:  . This includes information on what the role entails and what consultant pharmacists can offer, as well as information on what current posts have achieved.

How do they link to organisation/pharmacy priorities? How do they link to organisation/pharmacy priorities?

Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), could help identify any local priorities. The Department of Health have produced . In Scotland is available to support pharmaceutical care planning 

The Consultant Pharmacist Toolkit recommends identifying objectives from local organisation and/or national directives that are potentially met by the role. 

Useful links

 

RPS Affiliated Partners

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