Preparing pharmacists for the Community Pharmacist Consultation Service: a questionnaire survey

Elizabeth M. Seston, Ellen I. Schafheutle, Sarah C. Willis, Magdalena Karolczak-Bayatti, Joanne Lane, Samantha White, Matthew Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: The Community Pharmacist Consultation Service launched in England in 2019. Patients requiring urgent care were referred from NHS-based digital triage or general practice to a community pharmacist, who provided a consultation, which could include physical examination. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a learning programme to prepare community pharmacists for the service.

Methods: Learning programme participants were invited to complete an online survey shortly after the workshop and another survey three months later. The survey collected opinions on aspects of the programme, including Likert type statements and free text questions. The 3-month follow-up survey explored how the programme had helped pharmacists change their practice. Data were analysed in SPSS v.25 (IBM) with inferential statistics used to compare subgroups. Open comments were analysed qualitatively.

Key findings: The learning programme addressed participants’ learning needs including history-taking, clinically observing the patient, performing physical examinations, structuring a consultation, safety-netting and documenting consultations. Barriers to using skills acquired included low service uptake and a lack of equipment to perform physical examinations. Whilst many participants recognised the importance of skills to provide person-centred care, some participants did not appear to recognise the shift in policy to a more clinical role.

Conclusions: The learning programme resulted in increased confidence and a recognition of a shift in the policy vision for community pharmacist roles. Although some pharmacists appeared to embrace this, others have yet to fully appreciate the need to adapt to be ready for the opportunities that this service can provide.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 13 Sep 2022


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