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Advanced practice

Post-foundation hospital pharmacists need mentors, survey finds

Mentoring is “crucial” to the development of advanced practice pharmacists, according to the results of a survey of hospital pharmacists in Scotland.

Some 11 out of 20 pharmacists interviewed for the survey — all of whom worked for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde — said a one-to-one relationship with a more experienced pharmacist would help their professional development.

The 20 pharmacists surveyed had all previously completed NHS Education for Scotland’s Pharmacist Foundation Framework Training Programme and were now transitioning to advanced practice. Researchers at the University of Strathclyde and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde asked these pharmacists to self-assess their competencies in six areas using the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s advanced practice framework advanced stage one.

Participants self-reported high levels of competence in two areas: expert professional practice and collaborative working relationships. In both these areas, a median of 19.5 participants reported that they could provide evidence to meet these competencies.

But participants reported that they felt less confident in the three areas of management, leadership, and research and evaluation.

Management scored the lowest, with a median of eight participants reporting competence in this area. The median figures for leadership and research and evaluation were 13 and 10, respectively.

Asked how they could be supported to develop these competencies, participants expressed, in addition to a strong desire for mentoring, a need for more opportunities to develop their practice, including taking postgraduate qualifications. Greater support from management was seen to be essential in this. A strategic plan for ongoing professional development was equally seen as vital, with some participants reporting a lack of knowledge and/or understanding of their organisation’s current position on post-foundation professional development.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20207163

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