The Royal Pharmaceutical Society has taken over responsibility for the approval of consultant pharmacist posts in England and Wales.
Full details of the approval process appear in updated NHS consultant pharmacist guidance.
The guidance, published on 14 January 2020, also defines the expertise of recognised consultant pharmacists and explains how the role differs from other advanced clinical practice pharmacist roles.
Approval of these posts had previously been managed through a regional process. Now, employers and organisations wishing to create a new consultant pharmacist post will need to submit an application through the Society’s website.
A panel, made up of expert RPS members, will consider the application, taking into account factors such as the level of practice expected of the person who takes up the post and the proposed impact of the role across the healthcare system.
However, existing consultant pharmacist posts will not need to be re-approved.
“We believe that the new process to recognise posts is the gold standard and one that should be considered by other professions,” said Gail Fleming, director for education and professional development at the RPS.
“Supporting the implementation of the new guidance is a clear role for the professional leadership body and a big step forward in ensuring that posts are developed strategically and at the appropriate level.”
In a joint statement, Keith Ridge and Andrew Evans, chief pharmaceutical officers for England and Wales, respectively, said that consultant pharmacist level expertise “is critical to ensuring people get the support they need to maximise the benefits and reduce the risks associated with using increasingly complex medicines”.
“A single, national credentialing process for the NHS in England and Wales will set a uniform standard for consultant pharmacist roles and, importantly, stimulate the development of new consultant pharmacist posts according to population health needs,” the statement added.
Full details of the new system for consultant pharmacist post approval and the application form are available on the RPS website.
The RPS is currently seeking expert members to join the consultant post approval panel. The deadline for applications to join the panel is 27 January 2020.