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Vision for consultant pharmacists by 2030 unveiled by RPS

An ‘ambitious and exciting’ vision for consultant pharmacists to be leaders within the profession has been published by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS).

The vision sets out a multifaceted approach under five strategic pillars to help to ensure consultant pharmacists are an integral part of the pharmacy and wider healthcare team in all sectors of the UK by 2030.

The pillars focus on improving the process of credentialling, supporting the workforce in research and professional development, and building the evidence base around the positive impact of consultant pharmacists on public health outcomes.

Developing a workforce strategy to meet future patient and service need and promoting the role and engaging healthcare professionals and the public to increase the visibility of this role round off the pillars.

A key priority for the RPS underpinning these pillars is for consultant pharmacists to support the delivery of national workforce strategies aligned with health priorities across the devolved nations, driving improvements in patient and population health outcomes. This will be backed by a robust evidence base showcasing the impact of their role, the RPS said.

A further ambition is for consultant pharmacists to be recognised as clinical leaders within the pharmacy profession and for their role to be understood and valued by the public and other healthcare professionals.

Sharing case studies that highlight the positive impact of the role across the UK will help to increase its visibility, the RPS said.

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The RPS is calling for the credentialing process to be streamlined and for credentials to be annotated on the GPhC register and/or listed in an RPS directory, as well as being linked to revalidation.

The vision for comes after an RPS summit held in 2023. This brought together practising consultant pharmacists, credentialed individuals and pharmacy leaders and aimed to set the direction for the future of this ‘vital clinical leadership role’ within the profession.

Professor Nicola Stoner, chair of the RPS Consultant Pharmacist Group, said: ‘This document sets out an ambitious and exciting vision for the role of the consultant pharmacist following our very successful consultant pharmacist summit last year.

‘Through the RPS, we are collectively charting the course for the future of the role across the devolved nations, driven by the invaluable input of our members drawn from practising consultants and leaders in the field.

‘We must, however, take this opportunity to pause and recognise the significant progress we have made in advancing the consultant pharmacist role over the last five years, with the RPS introducing a national standardised approach to post approval and credentialing.

‘It is also fitting to recognise the significant contribution of my late co-chair, Professor Nina Barnett, in helping us achieve this milestone and this new strategic vision will help continue her enormous legacy to the consultant pharmacist role.’

Since 2020, the RPS has approved 64 new consultant posts and credentialed 55 individuals as consultant-ready pharmacists.

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