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RPS launches consultations on critical care and mental health curricula for advanced pharmacist practice

Two consultations have been launched on ‘pioneer curricula’ for advanced pharmacist practice in critical care and mental health, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has announced.

The curricula and supporting credentials define the clinical capabilities expected of entry-level advanced pharmacists practising specifically in critical care and mental health.

They build on, and are supplementary to, the RPS core advanced curriculum and were identified through an open expression of interest process, and prioritised on their clear patient and service needs supported by policy.

Both curricula will be assured through the collaborative assessment of additional specialist clinical outcomes via an add-on module to the RPS core advanced e-portfolio.

Successful demonstration of these outcomes, in addition to the outcomes in the RPS core advanced curriculum, will result in the awarding of both the RPS core advanced credential and an additional specialist credential, the RPS said.

These e-portfolio modules will be launched by September 2024.

Critical care curriculum

Developed in collaboration with the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA), the RPS and UKCPA advanced pharmacist critical care curriculum, was supported by the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine (FICM).

It defines the advanced knowledge, skills and capabilities for advanced pharmacists to support critical care teams to effectively use medicines to resuscitate, stabilise and optimise the patient during their illness and through discharge and rehabilitation where appropriate and to manage medicines for pre-existing conditions throughout their critical illness. 

Find out more about the critical care curriculum consultation here.

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Mental health curriculum

Developed in collaboration with the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP), the RPS and CMHP advanced pharmacist mental health curriculum defines the advanced knowledge, skills and capabilities for advanced pharmacists to support the highly complex patients, populations and health and social care systems.

This includes improving the provision of mental health (including substance use) treatment, the management of co-morbidities, the availability, reach and quality of harm reduction activities and address some of the structural barriers faced by this population.

Find out more about the mental health curriculum consultation here.

Future plans for advanced pharmacist practice

The RPS, UKCPA and CMHP are gathering feedback on the content of each curriculum, the feasibility of delivery, the relevance to all UK devolved nations, and how the curriculum may impact different social groups.

They are inviting all interested stakeholders – whether they’re members or non-members – to share their views by 12 March 2024.

In October 2023, the RPS announced the first pilot cohort of pharmacists had completed its advanced e-portfolio pathway.

Later that month, the RPS and UKCPA jointly established an advanced specialist curriculum and credentialing framework for clinical specialities falling under the UKCPA umbrella.

Stating their intention to begin with critical care, the organisations said their ‘collaboration will continue to focus on identifying and developing specialist curricula tailored to patient and service requirements’.

As such, the RPS is currently ‘developing a framework to articulate our future approach to the collaborative development of future advanced specialist curricula and/or credentials, building on valuable learning gained from working with UKCPA and CMHP’.

The RPS added: ‘We will be sharing more about our future approach in the coming months and will be holding an engagement event for specialist groups to discuss this in July 2024.’

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