Following the publication of the NHS Consultant Pharmacist Guidance at the start of 2020, we assumed the responsibility of approving consultant pharmacist posts on behalf of education commissioning bodies in England and Wales.
In a momentous first year, despite the significant challenges faced by pharmacy teams across the UK, we have approved 19 new consultant pharmacist posts. This represents a huge achievement for the pharmacy profession and a significant step forward in developing and creating consultant pharmacist opportunities. These additional consultant pharmacist posts will allow more pharmacists to deploy their clinical leadership skills across the healthcare system to benefit large populations of patients.
The posts added to the directory of consultant pharmacist posts in the last 12 months represent a broad range of the patient-focussed roles and clinical areas pharmacists work in. There were a number of specialist and generalist roles in primary care as well as a significant increase in the number of mental health consultant pharmacist posts.
A significant milestone was also reached with the approval of the first consultant pharmacist post in Scotland as NHS Scotland develop their supporting strategy.
As set out in the NHS Consultant Pharmacist Guidance, the RPS post approval process ensures that all consultant pharmacists posts are at the appropriate level, that there is consistency between posts and that all posts are developed to maximise the potential of the postholder to deploy their consultant level expertise across the healthcare system.
The robust consultant pharmacist post approval process and supporting resources were developed and deployed in time for the first posts to be submitted in March 2020.
Gail Fleming, Director of Education and Professional Development at RPS, said:
“Consultant pharmacists play an essential role in influencing and improving patient care across traditional boundaries. The last year has shown the vital work pharmacists do for patients across the healthcare system and these new consultant pharmacist posts will allow more pharmacists to become clinical leaders of the profession.
“Since its launch last year, the RPS consultant pharmacist post approval service has been a huge success. We have seen a significant expansion in the number of consultant pharmacist posts and now have a robust central approval process that provides an assurance for the profession and the public that all posts meet a nationally defined standard. We are delighted to see the diversity of new posts in terms of geography, sector and clinical speciality, particularly the growth of posts hosted in primary care.”
For more information on the post approval process, click here.