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Search for: Search. Learn More. Clinical Researcher Voices from the field, expert advice, and peer-reviewed articles. View Clinical Researcher. Visit Online Community. Launching Your Career These free resources can help jump-start your career in clinical research. However, a key challenge identified by the researchers was the limited supply of qualified CPIPs to include in the study and, consequently, the authors suggest that further upskilling of community pharmacists to IP status may benefit overall development of the sector.
However, she adds that this did necessitate the pharmacist leaving their community pharmacy role. Some community pharmacists have managed to forge roles as prescribers, but not without difficulties.
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Paul Blake, a community pharmacist working in a community centre on Walney Island in Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria, says that there are many challenges to becoming an IP, particularly for community pharmacists. Blake became a PIP as part of a local scheme that has been running since September , with the aim of taking pressure off GPs and improving patient access to medicines for problems beyond the scope of the minor ailments scheme.
As the only PIP in the area, Blake prescribes for a number of acute conditions, including uncomplicated urinary tract infections, tonsillitis, impetigo, otitis media and externa, and eczema. However, he says that being based in community pharmacy brings a number of challenges in terms of carrying on business as usual. Then on top of that people will turn up and ask me to clinically assess and prescribe. Although Blake has access to patient records through the Healthcare Gateway Shared Record Viewer , an independent web portal that provides healthcare professionals with instant access to the Medical Interoperability Gateway MIG , it all takes up time.
Blake adds he would like to see more of a peer support network for community PIPs.
Kinsey says that community pharmacists find they have limited scope to use their prescriber qualification. Government and political factors have not yet fully grasped what the community pharmacist can offer to the multidisciplinary healthcare team. It is therefore an easier road to become a prescriber because some of the barriers have already been broken down, says Kinsey. Rhian Deslandes, a lecturer at the school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at Cardiff University, who researches pharmacist independent prescribing, agrees.
Rhian Deslandes, a lecturer at the school of pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences at Cardiff University, says that there are a number of challenges for community pharmacists wanting to becomes PIPs, including access to medical records. She adds that for pharmacists working in GP practices, many of those barriers are dealt with. One of these, he says, is not having full access to the patient record.
The trouble, he says, is that they do not have access to the same support network and community pharmacists are not being thought of in the same way when it comes to national funding. Marc Krishek, education and training lead at North East London Local Pharmaceutical Committee, says that if pharmacists are to take on IP roles the whole pharmacy team needs to be upskilled in order to continue to support patients.
She finally persuaded her manager to allow her to undertake the course in January , but has not yet used her qualification. According to Nathanson, she is one of only four pharmacists to undertake the course at Homerton, and none of these pharmacists currently prescribe. As Krishek points out, it is not just about individual prescribers, the whole pharmacy team needs to be on board. While independent prescribing in community pharmacies is just getting off the ground, just a short walk along the high street PIPs are already a valued part of the primary healthcare team in general practice.source site
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Rachel Hall qualified initially as a supplementary prescriber but became an independent prescriber as soon as she could. Although at first, Hall says, she needed to build trust among the practice partners and there was some reluctance from the nurses to accept her role because they were concerned she was going to take more interesting work away from them. She emphasises that, as a PIP, support from doctors and other healthcare professionals is essential.
Magnus Hird, who works in general practice in Blackpool, also had a lot of support from his medical colleagues when he decided to become a PIP and his qualification has allowed him to develop his role over the years. Hird adds that he can see how community pharmacy could easily manage people with long-term illnesses who are relatively stable.
Professional healthcare organisations as well as individuals such as the chief pharmaceutical officers should all be acting as advocates to make it possible for all pharmacists to be able to prescribe early in their careers, if not at the point of registration, says Kinsey.
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Hird believes that all pharmacists should be prescriber ready when they graduate, as a minimum. It is important to instil some of the competencies that being a prescriber needs early on, he says. I think [prescribing] is something we should be aiming for as a normal skill for pharmacists to have.
Hall says that the pharmacy degree needs to become much more clinically focused with built-in work placements to enable pharmacists to build their experience, more in line with the way that doctors train. HIV specialist Richardson also has concerns about pharmacists being full IPs immediately after graduating, but she agrees that the role needs to be normalised to move it forward. As the role of pharmacists continues to grow it is clear that independent prescribing will form a key part of that evolution and, while individuals such as Richardson, Hird and Hall are reaping the benefits of their advanced roles, it is important to address the barriers that are preventing other pharmacists from progressing too.
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