January 2019: A New Year Development Opportunity

A New Year Developmental Opportunity

Happy New year! With fresh beginnings in mind I’d like to announce an opportunity I’m urging all Derbyshire pharmacists to consider getting involved with.

In a unique collaboration with De Montfort University, and via the Pharmacy Integration Fund, we are co-ordinating a programme to deliver a postgraduate module focusing on skills, which support Quality Improvement in healthcare practice. The module is in line with the Public Health agenda and the development of Healthy Living Pharmacies (HLPs). The specialised training is fully funded and will help you develop the skills necessary to evaluate and improve, where necessary, your business and how you approach your practice.

All pharmacists working two or more days per week in a community pharmacy can access this free accredited training. Contractors, employees, relief and locum pharmacists are all welcome and it doesn’t matter if you have recently qualified or whether or not you are in the ‘later’ stages of your career!

Pharmacy is changing: with moves towards more clinical practice and in particular helping patients improve their general health and wellbeing. The concept of HLPs is part of this and provides lots of opportunities to provide more patient-centred care. However, there is more we can do.

The Quality Improvement Module on offer allows you to work independently on your own project in your own pharmacy:

  • You will be able to apply what you have learnt in your day-to-day practice to improve existing services using appropriate quality tools;
  • Develop an understanding of theoretical and professional aspects of clinical pharmacy practice, management and services;
  • Design and management of patient-centred pharmaceutical services taking account of local and NHS priorities;
  • Further develop your critical reflection skills.

We all want to do a good job and we want to make a difference. However, there can often be a number of different options when we decide to make some changes to the way we do things. Do we always choose the best option first time? Probably not, and often the changes are part of an evolution rather than a revolution.

This training will help you gain insights and develop the skills necessary to make more informed choices. We’ve chosen to support the quality improvement module, but in other areas the modules could include clinical topics, medicines optimisation, and therapeutics. This is a single module, equivalent to 15 credits, which may be transferrable to another Higher Education institution and could form part of the training needed to gain a Post Graduate Certificate (60 credits needed).

So, what’s involved? Well, attendance is required at three face-to-face sessions (early February, early March and late June) and there is distance learning, which takes place over 6 months. The distance learning is online and supported by a tutor. In total the module will take around 150 hours. This may sound a lot, but the face-to-face training time counts towards the total and the practical work that you have to do in your pharmacy will as well. We all have to complete a ‘peer review’ as part of our revalidation with the GPhC this year, so the fact that you will be working alongside your peers, during the three face-to-face sessions, may help you with this as well.

The practical aspects of the module will involve looking at how your pharmacy supports the delivery of public health messages and what impact you are having. A baseline assessment of your current practice will provide a ‘before’ picture of how you are doing. Later, towards the end of the module, you will look at the ‘after’ picture to evaluate the differences, improvements and changes you have made.

It is intended that the work you, and others undertaking the module, do forms part of a research study to evaluate this innovative programme. In addition, it will help to build an evidence base that can be used to persuade commissioners to seek community pharmacy involvement when they want to deliver key health and wellbeing issues or develop services that support the public health agenda.

To find out more, please email LPC Chief Officer Jackie Buxton, at jackie.buxton@cpderbyshire.org.uk. We will be seeking ‘Expressions of Interest’ and begin to register pharmacists throughout January, so don’t delay making your application. I hope you will want to take the module. It will help you develop skills and insights that will help you transform aspects of your business that you wish to improve. The foundation you build now will help you deliver quality improvements throughout your career.

Good luck!