Training of pharmacists as supplementary prescribers

This study used focus groups, interviews and analysis of recorded critical incidents to look at how GPs and pharmacist supplementary prescribers see the different aspects of the supplementary prescriber training, and continuing experience, in the context of the challenge to professional territory presented by the role changes involved in the non-medical prescribing policy.

Although some of the GP partners in the practices concerned were vocal about their concerns surrounding non-medical prescribing, and often anxious about the issue of diagnosis and exactly what it involves, the designated medical practitioners (DMPs) in each case were supportive. The pharmacists, all of whom had previously established effective working relationships with the practices as they worked as prescribing advisors, were very enthusiastic about their period of learning in practice, and the skills of the DMPs. The academic component of the training was less valued, although they did acknowledge that the reflective learning skills they gained were useful later in their work-based learning. Interestingly, reciprocal learning was acknowledged by both the DMPs and the pharmacists, and it seems that the DMPs were seeing their pharmacist colleagues in a new light as a result and were developing new ways of working together. Learning on the job was a key component of continuing professional development.

Tann J et al. The great boundary crossing: perceptions on training pharmacists as supplementary prescribers in the UK. Health Education Journal 2010; 69: 183-191.