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Exploring pharmacists' views about the responsible pharmacist role

By Samir Vohra and Nicola Gray

Abstract

Aim

To investigate the views of non-contractor community pharmacists regarding the new responsible pharmacist (RP) role, before implementation.

Design

Cross-sectional, anonymous self-completion postal survey.

Subjects and setting

Employee and locum pharmacists working in community pharmacies in the NHS Northwest SHA in England.

Outcome measures

Responses from pharmacists detailing their perceptions of the new RP role.

Results

Almost half of the 116 respondents (48%) were negative about the new role, while 15% were positive and 37% felt “unsure”. Pharmacists’ feelings about the new role were not associated with demographic factors like gender or years qualified, nor professional factors such as their role (employee or locum) or whether they had read the RP toolkit. A minority of respondents (15%) had participated in consultation events: there was a significant association between such participation and feeling positive about the RP role (p<0.05). Increasing levels of locum accountability were cited as the main reason with a positive view. The increase in accountability, responsibility and liability were frequently cited with negative views. Other concerns raised included increased workload/stress, confusion about the regulations, and the impact of the pharmacist’s absence from the premises. Over a third of respondents (37%) indicated that the role would affect their future career and/or work pattern, and a minority of these respondents indicated that they would be leaving the profession.

Conclusion

This evaluation shows that most pharmacists were negative or unsure about the RP role, with much concern and confusion about its impact.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 11110003

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