These are already exciting times for pharmacists, and in my current day job, I’m constantly looking at how I can increase the number of prescribers. I know designated medical practitioner (DMP) capacity is limited, but if that is the only problem, I’m not convinced having pharmacist prescribers supervise and sign-off trainee pharmacist prescribers is the right answer.
The last decade of my professional life has been in General Practice and wider community services, everything from urgent care, general practice and community hospitals through to prisons, podiatry and occupational health. Having spent quality time working strategically and on the frontline with doctors, dentists, nurses, paramedics, physiotherapists and many other professionals, I have seen and felt the vast range of skills, approaches, perspectives and strengths we each have.
Our professions are not homogenous. That’s why MDT work and inter-professional education are so desirable, so valued, and can bring significant value both to those involved and those on the receiving end of the subsequent care.
Plenty of senior pharmacists will now be promoted as role models capable of developing the next generation of independent prescribing pharmacists, but they have all got to where they are after development and growth under a medic DMP. What value will future generations of prescribing pharmacists eventually lose out on given that pharmacist prescribers, by definition, have a narrower scope of practice compared to our medical colleagues, and do we know what the impact will be on patient experience and outcomes?
There’s an important piece of research here that needs to be done, and I sincerely hope it’ll prove my worries wrong.