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New NHS Consultant Pharmacist Post Approval Service

Shaping pharmacy careers

Today we have launched a new centralised post approval service for NHS consultant pharmacist posts in England and Wales.

The initiative is outlined in new NHS guidance on consultant pharmacists and will ensure consistency of approach and quality assurance for the role. The guidance centralises and replaces the current regional consultant post recognition processes.

Employers and organisations will be able to submit consultant post approval applications via the application form on the RPS website. These will be reviewed by a panel of experts and outcomes will be delivered within 8 weeks of the application deadline.

The post approval service will consider the level of practice expected of the post holder, the proposed impact of the role across the healthcare system, succession planning as well as the arrangements for management, supervision and job planning.

The aim is to ensure consistency across all specialities and to maximise the potential of individual consultant pharmacist for the benefit of patients across the NHS. Posts will be reviewed by a panel co-ordinated by the RPS, who are currently recruiting expert members. The deadline for applications is 27 January.

The RPS will maintain a public-facing directory of approved consultant pharmacist posts. Current posts will not have to be re-approved by the new centralised RPS service.

Gail Fleming, RPS Director for Education and Professional Development said:

“Consultant level pharmacy practice is essential to meet needs of patients & the NHS as increasingly complex treatments are developed. Consultant pharmacists work to deliver high quality clinical care and drive change across the healthcare system and their leadership is central to realising the full potential of clinically skilled pharmacy teams.

“We believe that the new process to recognise posts is the gold standard and one that should be considered by other professions. Supporting the implementation of the new guidance is a clear role for the professional leadership body and a big step forward in ensuring that posts are developed strategically and at the appropriate level.

Keith Ridge, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for England, and Andrew Evans, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer for Wales, said:

“We are delighted that the Royal Pharmaceutical Society has today launched its credentialing service for consultant pharmacist posts alongside publication of our updated consultant pharmacist guidance.

“Consultant pharmacist level expertise is critical to ensuring people get the support they need to maximise the benefits and reduce the risks associated with using increasingly complex medicines.  A single, national credentialing process for the NHS in England and Wales will set a uniform standard for consultant pharmacist roles and, importantly, stimulate the development of new consultant pharmacist posts according to population health needs. 

“More than ever integrated care requires clinical leadership from experienced pharmacists, supporting colleagues across the system to improve the use of medicines and outcomes for the population.”

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