RPS England calls for action on pharmacist independent prescribers

The RPS in England is calling on the NHS to help improve patient care through greater use of pharmacist independent prescribers (PIPs).

RPS England Chair Thorrun Govind said: “Growing the number of pharmacist independent prescribers will play a key role in the NHS recovery. We’ve seen some welcome progress in Wales and Scotland about growing the workforce of pharmacist independent prescribers and pharmacists and England must not be left behind. We’re continuing to engage with key partners about how this can be taken forward.

“It’s vital the Government and NHS invest in the pharmacy workforce to enhance patient care, improve medicines safety and manage rising demand across the health service.

“Alongside reforms to initial education and training, making this investment now could be a game changer to deliver better care for patients and support GPs and colleagues across the health service.”

In April, following widespread engagement with members, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society published recommendations for increasing the use of pharmacist independent prescribers:

  • Establish the right infrastructure, systems and tools to enable patients to benefit from PIPs as part of routine care.
  • Develop the highly trained PIP workforce required to work routinely as part of multi-professional teams in all health care settings.
  • Provide ongoing professional development for PIPs as well as expanding their role in teaching and peer support.

These also identified key enablers to make greater use of pharmacists in prescribing, including:

  • Commissioning services which utilise and maintain pharmacists’ expertise as prescribers
  • Developing infrastructure such as referral pathways and read-write access to patient records
  • Supporting the existing workforce to train as prescribers and provide enhanced clinical services
  • Investment in education and training, as well as protected learning time
  • Investment in expanding the capacity of Designated Prescribing Practitioners
  • Supporting the removal of restrictions to train as a prescriber based on length of registration.

Take a look at our resources to help independent prescribers.