Establishing a baseline of learning & development for general practice pharmacy professionals in Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire (BNSSG)

Joanne Clarke

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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The number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working within general practice has significantly increased with the NHS Long Term Plan and the introduction of the ‘Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme’ (ARRS)1,2. Whilst there is an approved learning pathway for those employed under ARRS3, it is not clear what additional development the whole local workforce needed both immediately and into the future.

To establish what learning & development was being completed by the pharmacy professionals in general practice and what was required to support the roles into the future.

An online, anonymous survey was sent to all members of the pharmacy workforce working in GP practices or Primary Care Networks across Bristol, North Somerset & South Gloucestershire (119 pharmacists and 36 pharmacy technicians). The tool used a mixture of qualitative and quantitative questions to investigate existing learning needs, current programmes of study and the use of competency frameworks to support learning. In addition, it investigated whether respondents used ‘communities of practice’ to support their learning and what future networks may be required. Qualitative data were grouped by themes and actions taken on the key themes. Descriptive statistical analysis was undertaken on the quantitative data.

The survey was not considered to be research; therefore ethics approval was not required.

There was a 25% response rate (n=39) which included 29 pharmacists (24%) and 10 pharmacy technicians (28%). 15 respondents were either on the accredited pathway or had completed it (38%) and of the pharmacists, 20 were registered prescribers (69%).

21% (n=8) of respondents were using a framework to evidence competencies. Career aspirations included becoming Advanced Clinical Practitioners, Consultant Pharmacists or Partners in their practice. 44% (n=17) of respondents reported no protected development time. 30 respondents belong to one or more network groups (81%). 73% (n=28) of the respondents supported the development of more communities of practice although some suggested the purpose should be clear and the impact on work-life balance considered.

Discussion and Conclusion
This study provided a broad overview of the current need for learning and development in the local area although a limitation was the small proportion of the workforce that responded. It was clear that the pharmacy workforce in general practice in BNSSG required more support for career development. The information gathered through this survey has shaped the support provided by the Pharmacy Lead at the BNSSG Training Hub. Guidance has been produced to support practices with understanding roles of pharmacy professionals and their development needs including protected time. A business case has been submitted to explore funding for advanced clinical skills as this was seen as a priority by respondents. In addition, an additional community of practice has been developed to enable peer discussions and support amongst pharmacy professionals.

There is further work to be done to support the learning and development of the workforce in general practice. The Royal Pharmaceutical Society Core Advanced Curriculum and the use of already established frameworks will enable pharmacy professionals to demonstrate their skills and competence and will be used to identify their learning needs.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2022
EventRoyal Pharmaceutical Society Annual Conference - London
Duration: 11 Nov 2022 → …


ConferenceRoyal Pharmaceutical Society Annual Conference
Period11/11/22 → …


  • Pharmacy
  • workforce


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