Pharmacists have had the opportunity to train as independent prescribers since 2006. Since then many pharmacists have achieved the qualification. This is the first in a series of professional dilemmas that will seek to understand how pharmacists would approach certain situations in relation to being an independent prescriber.
In this first dilemma, we focussed on a pharmacist who was working as an independent prescriber in community pharmacy. The community pharmacist has been on the GPhC register for 15 years. We will follow this character in a range of settings in future dilemmas but for the purpose of this one, she was the owner and superintendent pharmacist of five community pharmacies in a rural location in Scotland.
As pharmacy professionals, we find ourselves in very privileged positions in terms of how we interact with patients. Patients trust us and as such we must maintain the highest standards of professionalism. With this privilege comes the responsibility to behave ‘professionally’ and uphold the standards expected by the GPhC.
The trouble is life is complicated and on occasion does not play out as the guidance suggests. This dilemma explores some of the themes in this area. It is our hope that it helps you to reflect on your own practice and through the publication of the results you will find out how some of your peers would have behaved in similar situations.
Note: the purpose of this dilemma was to present a case that may occur in practice; for you to consider what you would do if faced with it, and to encourage you to reflect on your decision. The possible answers are examples and are not an exhaustive list of all the potential solutions.