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Clinical Pharmacists could have a positive impact on patient care in A&E

28 April 2016

Clinical pharmacy training should be considered as part of national advanced practice planning is the view of Health Education England (HEE) following the conclusion of a major study into the role and it’s place in A&E.

The pharmacist clinician who follows such a training pathway could confidently and competently conduct advanced clinical practice as a “specialist generalist” clinician in Urgent, Acute and Emergency care, working as part of the future multi-professional, multi-skilled clinical team, under the supervision of a doctor.

This announcement follows a national study conducted last year which took an  in-depth look at whether pharmacist prescribers, trained in clinical diagnostics and examination through an advanced clinical practitioner programme, could have a positive impact on patient care in the A&E.

The key questions explored included:

  • To what extent can pharmacists manage patients in the A&E?
  • What extra training is needed to create an advanced clinical pharmacist?
  • What can a pharmacist uniquely contribute to the joined up, multi-disciplinary, multi-skilled urgent and acute / emergency care workforce of the future?

The national study covered a cross-section of 49 English Emergency Departments. A total of 18,613 sets of patient data were received, making this the largest study of its kind to date, in the UK. Patient presentations were studied from a cross-section of attendees, to reflect a “normal” patient flow through A&E.

HEEs priority is  to ensure that we have the right skill mix to deliver a safe and sustainable service for patients rather than relying on more doctors in training. Working closely with partners, we are looking at national and international models that provide the best outcomes for patients in order to learn from these.