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Mental Health

One in four adults and one in ten children experience mental health problems. Awareness of and attitudes to mental health are slowly changing, though there remains an urgent need to improve the physical health and healthcare of people with mental health problems. People with severe and prolonged mental health problems are at risk of dying on average 15 to 20 years earlier than the general population.

The NHS Long Term Plan and People Plan states that integrated models of primary and community mental health care will support adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses. The Mental Health Implementation Plan indicates a need to increase pharmacists specialising in mental health by 280 by 2023/24 with a breakdown of 260 for severe mental illness and 20 for perinatal by 2023/24 to meet the requirements of the community-based offer. The creation of these new community-based mental health pharmacy roles will reinvigorate the overall mental health pharmacist workforce and their mental health expertise will help to spread learning across the new pharmacy workforce.

In 2019, HEE commenced the development of training pathway; to identify and design a pathway to train 260 Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists in the Community by 2024. Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists will work as part of multidisciplinary community-based mental health teams. These pharmacists will be responsible for medicines optimisation for people with severe mental health problems – particularly those with complex co-morbid physical health problems. By 2023/24 NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) is committed to employing more mental health pharmacists to work as part of Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) in new models of community-based mental health care for adults and older adults.

Pharmacy for mental health training offer

  • A pilot training offer for Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy will commence in Spring 2022. There are 50 pre-funded places as part of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Mental Health Implementation plan 2019-2023/24. This new community-based offer includes support for medicines management and improved physical health care.
  • A tailored 12-month programme aimed at experienced pharmacists working in Community Mental Health Teams. The training will include physical and mental health knowledge, skills, and assessment and is delivered over 10 modules. The training pathway supports the journey to advanced level practice for pharmacists.

Mental Health implementation plan, information, engagement and networking opportunities:

The Opportunities for Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists in Community Mental Health online session took place on 25th January 2022. The slides and recording have now been uploaded to the NHS Future Collaboration platform. To gain access to the platform, please email england.adultmh@nhs.net.

The NHS Future Collaboration workspace has been created to support colleagues working across the adult and older adult mental health sector. The platform aims to bring together resources and information to support the delivery of the adult and older adults mental health programme.

The Educational Pathway application and enrolment process

All applicants can apply directly to the University of Bradford based on the specified eligibility criteria, outlined below. The pilot training offer for Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy will commence in Spring 2022, with enrolment opening on 22 March 2022 and closing on 8 April 2022. There are 50 pre-funded places as part of the NHSE&I Mental Health Implementation plan 2019-2023/24.

Eligibility Criteria

Candidates enrolling in this programme must:

  • be an experienced pharmacist registered with the GPhC
  • be working within a Community/Primary care Mental Health Team (CMHT).
  • be working with patients with severe mental illness (SMI)
  • be employed within the NHS, or through an NHS commissioned mental health service
  • have a written declaration of support from their line manager.
  • have agreed ongoing work based educational supervision/clinical supervision from a mental health specialist employed by a mental health provider organisation
  • complete the programme application form
  • agree to undertake a gateway training needs analysis (TNA), facilitated by the education provider, at the beginning of the programme.

Further information regarding the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy training pathway will be updated to this page.  Please direct all questions regarding MH implementation plan funding to: england.adultmh@nhs.net.

Further information:

The development of this framework of core mental health competencies for all pharmacy professions and the pharmacy extended roles report highlights the importance of supporting people and colleagues with their mental health.

Read how better use of pharmacy staff to support patients and clinical staff adds tremendous value to NHS mental health services. Read Anita Solanki's blog. She is HEE’s Mental Health Training Programme Director, North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation. 

Read more about new roles in mental health pharmacy

What is the eligibility criteria to join the training pathway?

Candidates enrolling in this programme must:

-  be an experienced pharmacist registered with the GPhC

-  be working within a Community/Primary care Mental Health Team (CMHT).

-  working with patients with severe mental illness (SMI)

-  be employed within the NHS, or through an NHS commissioned mental health service

-  have a written declaration of support from their line manager.

-  have agreed ongoing work based educational supervision/clinical supervision from a mental health specialist employed by a mental health provider organisation

-  complete the programme application form

-  agree to undertake a gateway training needs analysis (TNA), facilitated by the education provider, at the beginning of the programme.

Applicants will be asked to apply directly to university of Bradford based on the eligibility criteria.

Will there be restrictions/allocations for individual NHS MH Trusts?

Applicants will be asked to apply directly to Bradford based on the eligibility criteria

There are no restrictions or allocations for individual NHS Trusts and Mental Health Trusts.

Further information regarding the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy training pathway including enrolment will be updated to HEE Pharmacy webpage and shared in the MH Pharmacy newsletter.

What is the time committment? How many days of campus attendance will be required during of the course?

A tailored 12-month online, distance learning programme aimed at experienced pharmacists working in Community Mental Health Teams. No campus attendance will be required. Each learner will be provided with an Educational Supervisor who will initially work with them to complete their Learning Needs Analysis and to develop a personalised learning plan. Each learner will meet virtually at least three times over the course of the programme to provide support and guidance. The total expected structured learning time is 100 hours for 10 units. Each module consists of:  

Pre-session study, Readiness Assurance Process (RAP), Facilitated session (to include Application Exercises) and 1 Webinar.

How does this effect the pharmacy technicians currently working in Mental Health Pharmacy roles?

The pilot training is a new community-based offer aimed at experienced pharmacists working in Community Mental Health Teams and includes support for medicines management and improved physical health. The training pathway supports the journey to advanced level practice for pharmacists.

An evaluation being carried out alongside the training pathway will review the project and make recommendations about the about the future direction of the training pathway - in particular, whether and to what extent the training might be adapted to suit the needs of Pharmacy Technicians.

Further information regarding the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy training pathway will be updated to this page.

Is the pathway being developed suitable for Non-Medical Prescribers and Advanced pharmacists that are working in the Community Mental Health Teams?

Yes, a learning needs assessment will be undertaken at the start of the pathway to identify specific gaps in clinical, leadership, education and research. The pathway is designed to develop pharmacists across these pillars of practice.

What are the Key Performance Indicators and how will service delivery be managed?

The Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists training pathway will be reported against the Mental Health Implementation Plan. The plan indicates a need to increase pharmacists specialising in mental health by 280 by 2023/24 - with a breakdown of 260 for severe mental illness and 20 for perinatal by 2023/24 - to meet the requirements of the community pharmacy sector.                                                             

By 2023/24 NHS England/Improvement (NHSE/I) is committed to employing more mental health pharmacists to work as part of Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) in new models of community-based mental health care for adults and older adults.

How often are course cohorts likely to start?

The pilot training offer for Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy will commence in Spring 2022. An evaluation being carried out alongside the training pathway will review and make recommendations about the future of the programme and whether the criteria will be amended.

 

Is there a competency framework and Job description for an experienced 8a non-medical prescriber, and progression for Pharmacists in NHS Band 6/7 roles? Is there a JD used for recruiting the Technician posts to support with this model?

Information about the roles and opportunity to engage and network on The NHS Future Collaboration workspace has been created to support colleagues working across the adult and older adult mental health sector. The platform aims to bring together resources and information to support the delivery of the adult and older adults’ mental health programme.

Currently, the new community-based offer is aimed at experienced pharmacists working in Community Mental Health Teams and includes support for medicines management and improved physical health. The training pathway supports the journey to advanced level practice for pharmacists.

The training pathway evaluation will include recommendations about the future of the training pathway