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RPS launches new programme to enhance pharmacists’ prescribing skills

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It aims to equip pharmacists with the essential knowledge, skills, and confidence to diagnose and treat common conditions and minor ailments

The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has introduced a new comprehensive learning programme to support pharmacists in Wales to deliver the Pharmacy Independent Prescribing Service (PIPS).

Developed in collaboration with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), the programme is designed to “equip pharmacists with the essential knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide excellent patient care.”

While the primary emphasis is on pharmacists operating within primary care settings, those from various practice settings are also encouraged to register and participate in the programme.

Commenting on the collaboration with HEIW, Elen Jones, director for Wales at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, said that it will empower pharmacists across the country to deliver high-quality prescribing services to local communities.

“By equipping pharmacists with the knowledge, skills, and confidence to treat specific conditions as prescribers, we are not only enhancing the quality of patient care but also strengthening the role of pharmacists as vital members of the healthcare team,” she added.

The programme has been designed by pharmacists from the RPS education and professional development team, with the content for each session being written by practising pharmacist prescribers or general practitioners.

Each session will explore conditions commonly encountered in community pharmacy practice.

Acknowledging the contribution of prescribing pharmacists in Wales, Jones said: “Through collaboration with Community Pharmacy Wales, feedback was obtained which has ensured its relevance and effectiveness in meeting the professional development needs of pharmacists,” Jones said.

“The programme’s focus on common conditions and minor ailments aligns perfectly with the everyday challenges faced by pharmacists in their practice,” she added.

Margaret Allan, Pharmacy Dean at Health Education and Improvement Wales, reiterated HEIW’s commitment to developing education and training for the pharmacy workforce, aligning with the objectives of Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales.

“Through our collaboration with the RPS on this series of events for pharmacist independent prescribers, we hope to improve confidence in prescribing and equity of access to the provision of the PIPS across Wales,” Allan said.

Key features of the programme

Under this programme, participants will learn to diagnose common conditions and minor ailments, identify red flag symptoms, know when and how to refer patients to other healthcare services, and treat common conditions and minor ailments.

The sessions will be presented as six separate two-hour workshops, incorporating presentations, knowledge quizzes, group activities, case study discussions, and Q&A sessions with experts.

The in-person workshops will be organised across North Wales, Mid and West Wales, and South Wales.

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