Consultant pharmacists are the most senior clinical experts in the pharmacy profession. The role was first introduced into the NHS in England in 2005 and into Wales in 2013.
The implementation of NHS guidance in 2020, now ensures that the meaning of the title ‘Consultant Pharmacist’ is the same wherever you access NHS services and that posts are consistently set-up to deliver improvements in health, safety and wellbeing of the population they serve.
Also in 2020, the professional leadership body, Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) published the Consultant Pharmacist Curriculum. This describes the entry-level knowledge, skills, behaviours and levels of performance expected of consultant pharmacists. Individuals must be assessed as meeting the curriculum in order to use the title ‘Consultant Pharmacist’ in their approved post.
Post Approval process
Independent reviewers assess if consultant pharmacist post applications meet the requirements in the NHS guidance Post Approval | RPS (rpharms.com).
All approved posts are listed on the Public Directory Directory of approved Consultant Pharmacist Posts (rpharms.com). This includes 12 posts in Wales (on 1st January 2022)
This is the ‘Consultant-ready’ assessment , where independent reviewers assess whether pharmacists have proven their capability to fulfil a role at consultant pharmacist entry level. Consultant Pharmacist Credentialing | RPS (rpharms.com)
Wales National Strategy for Consultant Pharmacists
The pharmacy response to Welsh Governments Health and Social Care Strategy, ‘A Healthier Wales’, was published in 2019 and was followed by establishment of a Delivery Board by Welsh Government.
One of the four workforce themes in the pharmacy vision, ‘Pharmacy Delivering a Healthier Wales’, (PDaHW) relates to developing consultant pharmacist opportunities.
The PDaHW Delivery Board has established the following goal in relation to this theme, for which the ‘goal owner’ is the Pharmacy Dean, on behalf of HEIW:-
The Pharmacy Dean is the goal owner for the consultant pharmacist work as developing a National Strategy for Consultant Pharmacists aligns with the purpose, vision and strategic objectives of HEIW.
A successful national strategy will ensure that:-
A successful initial pharmacy engagement event was held in June 2021 with a view to strategy publication early in 2022. National Strategy for Consultant Pharmacists Event - HEIW (nhs.wales)
Naturally the priorities of our NHS services leads returned to operational matters during the ‘second wave’ of the pandemic and so wider non-pharmacy stakeholder engagement remains to be progressed. The revised goal is to publish the strategy in 2022.