The Clinical Fellowship scheme established in 2015 is aimed at aspiring future leaders, providing early-career pharmacists with the unique opportunity to spend a year working with senior pharmacy leaders in national healthcare organisations. The fellowship forms part of the chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge’s commitment to establishing opportunities for the pharmacy leaders of the future. In this article we asked three current fellows to describe their experience of the first six months of fellowship within different organisations. For more information on the scheme and how to apply see box 1.
I’m Katherine Le Bosquet, clinical fellow at NHS England (NHSE), working within the office of the chief pharmaceutical officer. NHSE sets the priorities and direction of the NHS and encourages and informs the national debate to improve health and care. The chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge is head of profession for pharmacy and the principal advisor on pharmacy and medicines use for England.
I applied for the fellowship after coaching helped me identify leadership as a passion of mine. Fellowship offers a unique opportunity to develop leadership skills actively and create a network within the most senior levels of the NHS. It provides an opportunity to step away from the patient facing clinical role, which I have loved developing, and to be able to impact the care provided to patients by pharmacy professionals in the future. Fellowship gives me a seat at the table that allows me to witness first-hand how decisions are made and the leadership and vision required to keep the NHS safe, efficient and effective for patients.
I have learnt about the structure of the NHS, the relationship between the NHS and Department of Health and Social Care, and how policy is made. My key project is creating a national policy for polypharmacy with the London Regional Medicines Optimisation Committee. This includes organising a stakeholder event to set the priorities and vision for polypharmacy with the aim of reducing inappropriate polypharmacy across England.
I am also working on smaller projects across the organisation, focused on learning the difference between creating policy nationally and locally, and across different priorities. We are also collectively completing a fellow’s project, focusing on system leadership using the connections we have made between the 12 organisations we represent. Fellowship has been a fascinating experience, opening my eyes to an intricate world of pharmacy and policy making, and what happens to ensure safe and effective medicines reach patients.
Care Quality Commission
I’m Louisa Conlon, clinical fellow with the Medicines Optimisation Team at the Care Quality Commission (CQC). As the regulator, CQC’s purpose of ensuring services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate and high-quality health and social care provides it with insight into every facet of care across England and, as a result, an extensive overview of the healthcare system nationally.
My role includes supporting inspections, assisting with enquiries, partaking in project work and engaging internally and with external organisations. Having joined CQC from a clinical background, I bring my experience and an alternative perspective to the content and processes of work of the medicines team, as well as providing an insight into the ongoing activity at other national bodies through my fellows network.
The workstreams I’m involved in include: transfer of care, on which I am leading, local system reviews, antimicrobial stewardship and regulation of online primary care in collaboration with the GPhC and RPS fellows. The transfer of care work aims to evaluate people’s experience of healthcare pathways involving medicines, from the perspective of safety, effectiveness and experience. Establishing how well medicines are managed at the transition of care at different interfaces will provide an indication of how well that pathway functions as a whole.
The fellowship has facilitated my exposure to the CQC, national stakeholders and healthcare providers across the system, as well as the innovative people and initiatives locally and nationally. The most valuable aspect of the fellowship for me has been the time it’s given me, away from operational clinical practice, to read, absorb and reflect on the world of pharmacy at national level.
Royal Pharmaceutical Society
I’m Adele Mott, clinical fellow at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS), where I am based with Team England. The RPS is the professional membership body for pharmacists, promoting recognition of the profession across the healthcare landscape, including the media and government; publishing medicines information and supporting pharmacists in their professional development.
The fellowship has given me the opportunity to step away from clinical practice and immerse myself in the wider healthcare landscape. Only a few months in I have had opportunities to meet and learn from senior leaders, attend inspiring events and get involved in exciting work streams. The fellowship has a strong multidisciplinary focus, and one of the benefits of the scheme is sharing the experience with a network of medical and dental fellows.
My key project is working with the RPS Professional Standards Team to lead on the development of a prescribing supervisor competency framework. This is being produced to reflect regulatory changes enabling independent prescribers to take on the practice supervision element of non-medical prescriber training, a role traditionally only carried out by doctors. This role is critical to the development of safe and effective future prescribers and the framework is being developed to ensure those taking on this new role have the necessary skills and experience.
The fellowship has given me the opportunity to use my clinical experience and skills from working on projects at a local level, with the support of senior leaders at RPS, to lead on work that will have a national and multi-professional impact.
For more information on the CPhO Fellowship Scheme visit: https://www.fmlm.ac.uk/clinical-fellow-schemes/chief-pharmaceutical-officer%E2%80%99s-clinical-fellow-scheme/chief-pharmaceutical-0
Applications for the 2019/2020 cohort close 19 March 2019.