Welsh pharmacists moving into careers with NHS 111 will be supported by a new transition programme established by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) in Wales and NHS 111 Wales.
A pilot of the transition programme began on 15 January 2018. Under the pilot, pharmacists will be allocated an experienced NHS 111 pharmacist as a personal tutor, and recommended reading material and resources will be available to support learning and peer discussions.
In addition, the two bodies have together developed a Knowledge and Capability Guide to assess eligibility and knowledge in relevant areas, and to plan for further career development within the service.
A spokesperson for RPS Wales said that the programme “implements assessment recommendations outlined in the RPS Roadmap to Advanced Practice, and supports practitioners to identify their current stage of practice as well as their training needs, through self and peer assessment.” It will, the spokesperson added, “support pharmacists to be confident and effective during their transition to a new working environment”.
Participation in the programme will count towards foundation or faculty portfolios, and revalidation with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
Alexandra Gibbins, professional lead for NHS 111 Pharmacists, said she was “very excited” about the pilot programme. “It will enable us to start setting the standards for pharmacists working within 111. It will also provide a model for how we can not only provide assurance regarding a pharmacist’s knowledge and capability to undertake the role, but also for us to start broadening the role even further”
NHS 111 is a free helpline for non-emergency medical advice. Patients calling the helpline are triaged and passed to an appropriate practitioner, with pharmacists providing support with queries about medication and common ailments. NHS 111 was piloted in Wales in 2017 and there are now 40 pharmacists in the Welsh service, providing out-of-hours and weekend coverage in clinical hubs.
Pharmacists seeking further information about NHS 111 in Wales can contact Gibbins on Alexandra.Gibbins@wales.nhs.uk.