The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) is calling on the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) to remove the two-year wait post-qualification for pharmacists to train to become independent prescribers.
RPS proposes that entry to training should be based on whether pharmacists can evidence the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience to undertake the training, rather than the length of time a pharmacist has been on the register.
In its response to a GPhC consultation on changes to training requirements, RPS calls for pharmacists to start developing their prescribing competency from the beginning of post-registration foundation training, with the early introduction of core clinical skills during the MPharm, so trainees build the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed for prescribing right from the start.
RPS President Professor Claire Anderson said:
“We’ve campaigned strongly for better use of pharmacist independent prescribers, who are becoming essential to multi-professional teams in all health care settings.
“We want to ensure pharmacy remains an attractive career and has parity with the other professions. Pharmacist prescribing is now moving from being a skill only associated with advanced specialist levels of practice to a more generalist scope, providing a workforce that’s more flexible with a shared set of capabilities.
“One of the benefits of a generalist scope is the ability to use prescribing as part of holistic care, focusing on the patient rather than their condition.
“Creating safe, competent prescribers at all career stages is essential. Prescribing by newly registered pharmacists should look quite different to that done by more senior pharmacists and will increase in complexity in line with their experience and competence.
“We recognise there are challenges in the removal of the two-year limit, but the prize is a new level of practice across the profession which will help transform care for patients.”
Read the full RPS consultation response.