Stakeholders views of medicines administration by pharmacy technicians on mental health inpatient wards

Joanne Woodward, Alison MacKinnon, Richard Neil Keers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background The involvement of pharmacy technicians in medicines administration has been highlighted as an opportunity to enhance medicines management support for nurses and service users. Currently, there is no published evidence around this development within psychiatry. Objective To explore the perceptions of key stakeholders toward the feasibility and acceptability of pharmacy technician-led medicines administration within a mental health inpatient setting. Setting Ten acute adult and older-adult wards across five inpatient units within one UK mental health provider. Method Stratified purposeful sampling was used to recruit participants from primary (pharmacy technician, nurse and service user) and secondary (pharmacist, doctor and senior manager) stakeholder groups. One-to-one, semi-structured interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and analysed thematically using Framework analysis. Main Outcome Measure Themes arising from perspectives of stakeholders concerning the feasibility and acceptability of pharmacy technician-led medicines administration. Results Twenty participants were recruited, including twelve primary stakeholders. Attitudes towards implementation were favourable overall. Anticipated risks included de-skilling of nurses around medicines and a potentially detrimental impact on the nurse-patient therapeutic relationship; these were contrasted by potential benefits including the release of nurse time and medicines education opportunities with staff and service users. Conclusion Technician-led medicines administration was perceived as a feasible service, potentially bringing opportunities for medicines optimisation and released nursing time to care. These findings may be a source of guidance for policymakers and researchers who wish to explore the development of such services. Further exploration of safety and effectiveness is required, particularly within mental health settings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of clinical pharmacy
Early online date18 Jul 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Medicines administration
  • Mental health
  • Pharmacy technician
  • Qualitative research
  • United Kingdom

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