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Changing prescriber supervision requirements will help more pharmacists become prescribers, says RPS

Responding to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s discussion paper, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has advocated for an active pharmacist independent prescriber (IP) to be involved in supervising IPs in training to enable more pharmacists to become prescribers.

Pharmacist mentoring trainee prescriber

Source: Juice Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Having active pharmacist independent prescribers involved in supervising IPs in training will help provide addtional capacity for pharmacist prescribers, says the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has stressed the value of having an active pharmacist independent prescriber (IP) involved in supervising IPs in training, saying that it will provide additional capacity for more pharmacists to become prescribers.

This follows a discussion paper, published by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC), proposing that, in the future, the right to supervise those training to be pharmacist IPs would be extended to pharmacist prescribers and other experienced non-medical prescribers.

“There are pharmacists across Great Britain who are currently using their independent prescribing skills within multidisciplinary teams, making significant contributions to positive patient outcomes,” says Elen Jones, practice and policy lead for RPS Wales. “It is encouraging that the GPhC is looking at ways to further support more pharmacists to become IPs.

“Extending supervision rights for experienced pharmacist IPs would provide additional capacity for training more pharmacist IPs,” she adds.

elen jones rps 17

Source: Royal Pharmaceutical Society

“Extending supervision rights for experienced pharmacist independent prescribers (IPs) would provide additional capacity for training more pharmacist IPs,” says Elen Jones, practice and policy lead for RPS Wales

The RPS also says that, where possible, pharmacist IPs should still be able to have access to medical practitioners in order to gain additional expertise in patient assessment and diagnosis, have the chance to demonstrate to medical colleagues the knowledge and expertise of pharmacists and to further multidisciplinary working.

“We would advocate that changes to the supervision requirements be an evolving process that maintains the active involvement of medical practitioners in the training of pharmacist IPs with opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary team, ensuring the maintenance and building of professional relationships,” explains Jones.

In the GPhC paper, which was published on 30 November 2016, the regulator puts forward four measures to be put in place should supervision rights be extended. These include that the supervisor must have worked in the area the trainee pharmacist IP wishes to learn to prescribe in; the supervisor must be trained for the role; the supervisor must be mentored once supervising; and course providers must support supervisors throughout their time as supervisors, linked to an accredited course.

In its response to these measures, the RPS has asked for clarity on the training that will be required and says that if someone is an experienced tutor already they should not be required to undergo mentoring as it may become a barrier to more pharmacists becoming IPs. The RPS referred to its competency framework for prescribers, published in 2016, and existing mentoring scheme, which could be used for training in this area.

A final decision on the proposals will be taken once a full consultation on revised education and training standards for independent pharmacist prescribers in 2017 is completed.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2017.20202315

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