NHS to train community pharmacists in mental health drive
The Government has announced plans to train and recruit 50 community-based mental health pharmacists in England as part of the new NHS People Plan.
The 2020-21 plan, which was published yesterday, sets out how the Government plans to support NHS staff and foster “transformation across the whole NHS”. It has been in development since 2019 but has been updated to reflect the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
It describes plans to ensure more people are trained to provide services where there is critical need in the population, such as mental health and cancer, as well as plans to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of health workers.
“The NHS needs more people, working differently, in a compassionate and inclusive culture,” NHS England & Improvement’s 52-page outline states.
NHSE&I said the “future workforce” will include “50 community-based specialist mental health pharmacists” as well as other mental health workers including psychological wellbeing practitioners targeting children and young people.
The plan also describes how the health service plans to ensure a “sustainable supply of prescribing pharmacists with enhanced clinical and consultation skills”. A key element of this will be the replacement of the current pre-registration year with a foundation year that will reportedly have a greater emphasis on clinical skills – and qualify all graduates as independent prescribers.
Commenting on the workforce plan, NPA vice chair Nick Kaye said the Government must invest more in integrating community pharmacists into the wider health service, for example through minor illness services, disease prevention and the management of long-term medical conditions.
“The chronic underfunding of the community pharmacy contract in England has to be addressed urgently,” Mr Kaye said, adding that “much more detail” is needed on the Government’s plans to introduce a new foundation training year for pharmacists.
PSNC chief executive Simon Dukes said he welcomed the emphasis on health workers’ wellbeing and that the PSNC was “particularly pleased to see the dedication and achievements of some community pharmacists highlighted in the People Plan document”.
He said that as a contracted sector community pharmacy teams are not covered by [workforce wellbeing mission statement] the NHS People Promise “and indeed some parts of it may not apply or are already covered by employment law and best practice”.
“That said, we believe contractors will be able to support some of the key themes within the promise.”
RPS England board chair Claire Anderson said: “Our members have been telling us about the importance of health and wellbeing support, sufficient rest breaks and protected time, and it’s welcome to see this reflected in the latest part of the People Plan.
“We’ll continue working with Health Education England on proposed changes to pre-registration and foundation training and it’s vital this is taken forwards in discussion with stakeholders. If we are to realise the ambition to create a sustainable supply of prescribing pharmacists, this must supported by appropriate funding.”
Learn how to identify and help customers manage heartburn and indigestion, from recommending the right products to ease symptoms, to self-care advice and identifying red flags for referral
Learn how to help customers with constipation and find out how even brief conversations can have a positive influence on their health.
Record my learning outcomes
Inspiring stories related to health, fitness and the pursuit of wellbeing
More like this
Lloyds embarks on restructure with possible redundancies
Hit by rising costs and falling income, LloydsPharmacy has told staff it will soon embark on a restructuring process that could spell redundancies.Â
2 Min Article
Pharmacist charity’s ‘Go Green’ campaign to return
The charity has spoken out about the need for funding in the wake of “rocketing” demand for its services.
1 Min Article
People in contact with secondary mental health on rise
Over 2.8 million people were recorded as being “in contact” with secondary mental health services in 2019-20.
1 Min Article
'Revolutionary' anti-cholesterol drug to be offered on NHS
NHSE&I said inclisiran will be administered by nurses in GP surgeries.
1 Min Article
FIP: Pharmacists can fight WHO global health threats
The president of FIP said pharmacists can help address 10 threats to global health identified by the World Health Organization.
1 Min Article
Helping customers treat & care for their scalp
Understanding the causes and symptoms of some common scalp conditions will help you to make a real difference to your customers’ lives. Complete this module to discover self-care and product advice to help ease symptoms and maintain scalp health.
10 Min Module
Let's talk tech: Using technology to drive your business
This training offers insights into making the most of technology and the commercial opportunities this can offer your business.
8 Min Module