RPS consults on advanced curricula for critical care and mental health pharmacy

Once finalised, the two new curricula will be add-on modules to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society's core advanced pharmacist curriculum, published in June 2022.
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Two draft curricula that will give advanced pharmacists the opportunity to achieve specialist credentials in critical care and mental health have been published.

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) worked with the UK Clinical Pharmacy Association (UKCPA), Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine and College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) to create the two draft curricula to support advanced practice.

Consultations on the curricula launched on 14 February 2024 and will run until 12 March 2024.

The new curricula are planned to be add-on modules to the RPS core advanced pharmacist curriculum, which was published in June 2022.

New e-portfolio modules for critical care and mental health will launch by September 2024, allowing advanced pharmacists who demonstrate specialist clinical outcomes to be awarded the specialist credentials.

The advanced pharmacist mental health curriculum defines the advanced knowledge and skills needed to support highly complex patients, populations and health and social care systems, as well as improve the provision of mental health treatment.

Nicola Greenhalgh, vice president at CMHP, told The Pharmaceutical Journal that mental health pharmacists “not only need to understand the use of medicines but also the wider impact of areas such as legal aspects to treatment, the impact of trauma, inequality and social circumstances, which play a huge role in people recovering from mental illnesses”. 

“Many areas of mental health continue to be poorly covered in pharmacy training and therefore there is a need to ensure that pharmacy professionals who have these skills can be recognised for their development and identified as specialists able to advocate for improving the use of medicines within mental health,” she added.

The advanced pharmacist critical care curriculum defines the advanced knowledge and skills needed to support critical care teams in effectively using medicines to resuscitate, stabilise and optimise patients, as well as managing medicines for pre-existing conditions.

Joseph Oakley, associate director of assessment and credentialing at the RPS, said the draft curricula were “the culmination of an enormous collaborative effort” to define the advanced clinical capabilities of pharmacists practising in critical care and mental health.  

“We are excited to hear feedback now from the wider system about these curricula to ensure they support the development of a pharmacist workforce equipped to meet future patient and service need in these areas of practice.”

The RPS is developing a framework for future advanced specialist curricula and credentials, and will be holding an engagement event for specialist groups to discuss this in July 2024.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, February 2024, Vol 312, No 7982;312(7982)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.228526

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