New Transition Programme for NHS111 pharmacists in Wales

RPS announces Transition pilot to support pharmacists moving into NHS111

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society is delighted to announce that the RPS Transition Programme pilot to support pharmacists moving into the NHS111 work environment in Wales will commence today.

The NHS111 service is an amalgamation of NHS Direct Wales and the GP out-of-hours service and has been piloted in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend and Carmarthenshire. NHS111 has truly embraced a multidisciplinary approach to care and is proving to be an exciting workplace for pharmacists. When a patient calls NHS111 they are quickly triaged and passed to the appropriate practitioner, all medication queries and common ailments will be passed directly to a pharmacist so they can advise patients on appropriate treatment or next steps, utlilising the pharmacist’s clinical skills and knowledge.
The RPS are pleased to be working closely with NHS111 Wales to launch a programme to support pharmacists to be confident and effective during their transition to a new working environment. The Programme implements assessment recommendations outlined in the RPS Roadmap to Advanced Practice, and supports practitioners to identify their current stage of practice as well as their training needs, through self and peer assessment.

Experienced pharmacists working at NHS111 in Wales and Yorkshire have collaborated with the RPS to develop the RPS NHS111 Knowledge and Capability Guide which enables pharmacists to assess their current knowledge and capability in areas that are essential for working at a NHS111 hub, and agree a plan for further development.

Commenting on the pilot, Alexandra Gibbins, Professional Lead for 111 Pharmacists, said: 
“I’m very excited about the transition programme and I believe it will enable us to start setting the standards for Pharmacists working within 111. It will also provide a model for how we can not only provide assurance regarding a Pharmacists knowledge and capability to undertake the role, but also for us to start broadening the role even further.

“111 are really proud of all the Pharmacists who have been working with us since November 2015 and of their commitment to not only the service (and making it a success) but to supporting the development of this programme and other Pharmacist colleagues joining the service.”

All pharmacists commencing on the RPS NHS111 Transition Programme have been allocated a Tutor who is an experienced NHS111 pharmacist who has completed Tutor training. Tutees will be provided with feedback on their practice in the workplace, given the opportunity to discuss their practice with peers and will complete self-reflections on their practice. Recommended reading material and resources will also be available to support learning and peer discussions.

A new on-line Transition Programme Network has been launched on the RPS website to enable practitioners to share their experiences and learning. The Programme is ideal to support the development of a pharmacist’s CPD portfolio, and will also count towards Foundation or Faculty and Revalidation for the GPhC. The RPS Transition Programme pilot is being fully evaluated, with learning used to further enhance the support for pharmacists transitioning into new roles in the future.

For more information, contact Beth Ward, Head of Professional Development at [email protected]