Baroness Masham of Ilton – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department of Health

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Masham of Ilton on 2016-01-14.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have any plans for pharmacists who support general practitioners and Accident and Emergency departments to be trained as healthcare professionals, rather than solely as scientists.

Lord Prior of Brampton

It is the responsibility of the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPC) to set the standards and outcomes for the education and training of pharmacists and to approve training curricula to ensure newly qualified pharmacists are equipped with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to provide high quality care.

New roles for pharmacists are being pursued as part of the NHS Five Year Forward View, most notably the employment of clinical pharmacists in general practitioner practices.

In partnership with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, NHS England has launched a pilot programme to support general practices to recruit and employ clinical pharmacists. This is supported by Health Education England (HEE) through the delivery of a comprehensive education and training programme. This is a new role unlike acute hospital pharmacists or community pharmacists. They will consult with patients, be able to prescribe, where necessary, in particular for those with long term conditions and multiple medication, developing individual pharmaceutical care plans.

HEEare considering the potential development of an enhanced programme of clinical training for pharmacists in accident and emergency following research undertaken in 2015 in partnership with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, GPC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.

While there are a range of (often) locally-isolated examples of good practice in the Emergency Department (ED) workforce, there exists little published evidence to support the role of pharmacists in the ED or, specifically, to support pharmacists in undertaking “hands-on” clinical work in the ED. As a result, HEE commenced nation leading project development and research, in partnership with the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, GPC and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, with the following aims:

– To test and justify development of clinical pharmacist roles within the ED; and

– To provide an evidence base for further project work and national scaling.