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Pharmacy and pharmacy technicians

Better use of pharmacy staff to support patients and clinical staff adds tremendous value to NHS mental health services.

The New Roles Task and Finish Group (2019) identified:

  • the pharmacy workforce needs development and training in managing mental health across all settings to support the introduction and expansion of new roles. Many pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have limited exposure to mental health services during their training.
  • a lack of consistency and a variety of service models in the clinical pharmacy input to mental health teams 
  • the need to define the clinical supervision arrangements for pharmacy professionals within and beyond the mental health sector.

Although there are examples of new roles and innovative practice captured in the report, the input of pharmacy professions is not optimised across services and underused in mental health settings.

The fragmentation of service models means a national gap analysis is not possible using the currently available workforce information.

The New Roles Task and Finish Group recommended the development of a coherent and aligned national competency framework to underpin this work, linked to the development of rotational roles and training placements in mental health. 

A review of innovative and extended roles within mental health pharmacy

The New Roles in Mental Health Pharmacy Task and Finish group also identified a need for additional pharmacists in the Adult Severe Mental Illnesses (SMI) Community Care programme, and Community Perinatal Mental Health. This review was prepared through a literature search and discussions with a range of pharmacy professionals across England. These case studies explore the experiences of Pharmacy Technicians and this document gives an overview for those interested in becoming a mental health pharmacist or pharmacy technician.