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Community pharmacists? Views on the early stages of implementation of a national pilot independent prescribing service in wales: a qualitative study

Mantzourani, Efi ORCID:, Deslandes, Rhian ORCID:, Hodson, Karen ORCID:, Evans, Andrew, Taylor, Lydia and Lucas, Cherie 2023. Community pharmacists? Views on the early stages of implementation of a national pilot independent prescribing service in wales: a qualitative study. Integrated Pharmacy Research and Practice 12 , pp. 11-23. 10.2147/IPRP.S395322

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Background: A pilot Independent Prescribers’ Service (IPS) was introduced in 13 community pharmacies across Wales in June 2020. Independent Pharmacist Prescribers (IPPs) could prescribe in the areas of management of acute conditions, contraception, or opioid withdrawal, as agreed with local commissioners. Access to the patients’ medical records was provided via Choose Pharmacy, the national community pharmacy IT platform. Objective: To explore the experiences of IPPs delivering the service and commissioners responsible for financial resources regarding the IPS in Wales. Methods: A qualitative methodology was employed, with purposive sampling, semi-structured interviews, and inductive thematic analysis. Results: Five themes were constructed from 13 interviews (n=9 IPPs; n=4 commissioners): (i) patient experience and safety; (ii) professional enablement and rebalancing workload of GPs; (iii) role and limitations of remote consultations; (iv) funding and business model; (v) functionality on Choose Pharmacy to support patient care. The design of the service allowed pharmacists to determine how best to deliver the IPS, maximizing access for patients and promoting a sense of professional value amongst pharmacists. Conclusion: This study builds on the body of evidence on enhanced patient experience with prescribing services in the community, reinforcing that IPPs have a key role in rebalancing management of common conditions from GP surgeries to community pharmacies. Several considerations need to be addressed to ensure future success of the service implementation, delivery and enhanced sustainability, such as formal referral pathways and access to medical records. These can be used by other commissioning bodies in the UK and internationally to build a network of suitably supported IPPs, confident to appropriately deal with uncomplicated acute and chronic conditions; and liaise with primary and/or secondary care when referrals are needed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 2230-5254
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 27 January 2023
Date of Acceptance: 23 December 2022
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 07:38

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