New roles for pharmacists in urgent care welcomed by RPS England

If you're interested in broadening your experience take a look at these new jobs in urgent care

NHS England has created 61 WTE new roles for pharmacists as part of its Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) programme. The initiative is supported by the Pharmacy Integration Fund.

The positions are within the IUC Clinical Assessment Service contact centre environment, for example in NHS 111 or 999 call centres.  NHS 111 is being enhanced so that patients who call needing clinical input will be transferred to an IUC Clinical Assessment Service, where they will receive the advice and information they need there and then from the right clinician.

The roles will be part of a multidisciplinary team, supported by a senior pharmacist, and involve handling medicines-related enquiries, undertaking clinical assessment and treatment of minor ailments and providing self-care advice and prescribing for repeat prescription requests. 

Work will be mainly out of hours and at weekends when patient demand on services is highest, and will offer flexibility with dedicated posts, rotational opportunities and in some cases the chance to work from home via a web-based service. 

From March pharmacists already working in these roles or new to the job will receive training on topics such as telephone triage skills as well as the opportunity to gain a qualification as an independent prescriber.  A network for pharmacists will also be available to provide peer to peer support, information and leadership in this new area of practice.

Chair of RPS England Sandra Gidley said:

“Portfolio careers for pharmacists are fast becoming a reality. This is a chance to participate in the development of a new professional role, with different models being created by different providers who have their proposals assessed and given the go-ahead. The flexible working options will be particularly attractive to some pharmacists.

“RPS has long advocated for the role of pharmacists in urgent care, especially in community and hospital settings. These new jobs are a statement of confidence in pharmacists’ clinical skills and vital contribution to creating an effective, integrated care pathway for patients.”

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Browse our Ultimate guide to working in urgent and emergency care 

Read more about NHS England’s plans to integrate pharmacy into urgent care