Views, attitudes and self-assessed training needs of Scottish community pharmacists to public health practice and competence
- 396 Downloads
Objective To assess the education and training needs of community pharmacists to support the delivery of an expanded public health role. Setting Community pharmacy in Scotland. Method Two focus groups of community pharmacists (n = 4 in each) in geographically distinct regions of Scotland explored issues of public health function, competencies and education and training. Findings from thematic analysis were used to develop a draft postal questionnaire. Following piloting, pharmacist managers from a random sample of 500 community pharmacies in Scotland were contacted by telephone to ascertain the number of pharmacists working in each pharmacy in the following 14-day period. A survey pack containing questionnaires for each identified pharmacist working in the study period was sent by post to the pharmacist manager in each pharmacy. The questionnaire contained items on: demographics; views and attitudes towards: public health; competencies for public health practitioners; and education and training needs. One postal reminder was sent 2 weeks later. Main Outcome Measures Main themes identified from focus group discussions; questionnaire response rate; views and attitudes towards public health competencies and education and training. Results Four hundred and fifteen managers agreed to participate, providing 904 potential participants. The response rate was 25% (223/904). Most (n = 179, 80%) were aware of the term ‘pharmaceutical public health’. While a majority saw the importance of public health to their practice (n = 177, 79%) agreeing/strongly agreeing, they were less comfortable with the term ‘specialist’. Respondents viewed competencies relating to health promotion (n = 192, 86%) more relevant than surveillance (n = 70, 31%), risk management (n = 29, 13%) and strategic developments (n = 12, 5%). Responses indicated a desire for education and training with more than half (n = 121, 54%) agreeing/strongly agreeing that they had a need now, with 69% (n = 153) expressing a future need. Conclusion Results should be interpreted with caution due to the response rate. However, this research highlights the self assessed gap in competence related to pharmaceutical public health for community pharmacists in Scotland.
KeywordsCompetency Education and training Pharmacist Public health Questionnaire Scotland
We would like to thank J McCaig, G McHattie, C McHattie and A Bowbyes for research and administrative support, the Directors of Pharmacy in the focus group areas, focus group participants and questionnaire respondents.
We would like to thank NHS Education for Scotland (Pharmacy) for funding this research.
Conflicts of interest
- 1.Acheson D. Public health in England. Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the future development of the public health function. London: The Stationery Office; 1988.Google Scholar
- 2.Walker R. Pharmaceutical public health: the end of pharmaceutical care? Pharmac J. [online] 264(7085). 2000. http://www.pjonline.com/editorial/20000226/articles/publichealth.html. Accessed 3rd March 2008.
- 3.Scottish Executive. Review of the public health function in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. 1999. http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library2/doc09/rphf-00.asp. Accessed 11th March 2008
- 4.Scottish Executive. The right medicine: A strategy for pharmaceutical care in Scotland. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. 2002.http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/Doc/158742/0043086.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008
- 5.Anderson C, Blenkinsopp A, et al. The contribution of community pharmacy to improving the public’s health: Report 1: Evidence from peer-reviewed literature 1990–2001. Great Britain: PharmacyHealthLink & RPSGB. 2003. http://www.pharmacyhealthlink.org.uk/. Accessed 11th March 2008
- 6.Blenkinsopp A, Anderson C, et al. The contribution of community pharmacy to improving the public’s health: Report 2: Evidence from non peer-reviewed literature 1990–2002. Great Britain: PharmacyHealthLink & RPSGB. 2004. http://www.pharmacyhealthlink.org.uk/. Accessed 11th March 2008
- 7.Scottish Executive. New community pharmacy contract update HDL (2004) 36 [online] Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. 2004. http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/mels/HDL2004_36.pdf. Accessed 3rd March 2008.
- 8.Scottish Executive. National Health Service (Scotland) act 1978: Health board additional pharmaceutical services (public health service) (Scotland) directions. [online]. 2006. http://www.communitypharmacy.scot.nhs.uk/docs/PHS%20Direction%2016%20June%202006.pdf. Accessed 28 May 2007.
- 9.Whiddett S, Hollyford S. The Competencies Handbook. 1st ed. London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; 2000. ISBN 0 85292 7355.Google Scholar
- 10.Department of Health. Choosing Health through pharmacy – a programme for pharmaceutical public health 2005–2015. London: Department of Health. 2005. http://www.dh.gov.uk/prod_consum_dh/groups/dh_digitalassets/@dh/@en/documents/digitalasset/dh_4107496.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008.
- 11.Public Health Institute of Scotland. Pharmacy for Health: The Way Forward for Pharmaceutical Public Health in Scotland. Glasgow: Public Health Institute of Scotland; 2003.Google Scholar
- 12.Ursell VC, Marriott JF, Wilson KA. Community pharmacy involvement in public health provision: current perceptions and future directions. Pharmaceutical Journal. 1999;263:53.Google Scholar
- 13.Pharmacy Healthlink. The contribution of community pharmacy to improving the public’s health – evidence from peer-reviewed literature (2004 update). [online] PharmacyHealthlink. 2004.http://www.pharmacyhealthlink.org.uk/. Accessed 23 May 2007.
- 14.Faculty of Public Health. Good Public Health Practice: Standards for public health physicians and specialists in training. London: Faculty of Public Health. 2001http://www.fphm.org.uk/prof_standards/downloads/general_standards/D_Stds_for_PHPs_Specialists.pdf. Accessed 6th March 2008.
- 16.Krueger RA, Casey MA. Focus Groups: A Practical Guide for Applied Research. 3rd ed. Sage; 2000. ISBN 0761920714.Google Scholar
- 17.Ritchie J, Spencer L. Analysing qualitative data. In: Bryman A, Burgess R, editors London: Routledge; 1994. ISBN 041506063X.Google Scholar
- 18.Skills For Health. Guide to the National Occupational Standards for the Practice of Public Health. Bristol Skills for Health. 2004. http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/Documents/568/EnglishNOS.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008.
- 19.Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. Guidance on linking the NHS knowledge and skills framework and competencies for pharmacy. London: Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. 2006. http://www.rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/compfutphwfksfguid.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008.
- 21.Hassell K, Seston L, et al. Pharmacy workforce census 2005. Manchester: School of Pharmacy, University of Manchester. 2006. http://www.pharmacy.manchester.ac.uk/cpws/cpwsnews/censusreport/censusreport.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008.
- 22.Armstrong M, Lewis R, et al. The contribution of community pharmacy to improving the public’s health: Report 3: An overview of evidence base from 1990–2002 and recommendations for action. Great Britain: PharmacyHealthLink & RPSGB. 2005. http://www.pharmacyhealthlink.org.uk/. Accessed 11th March 2008.
- 23.Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee. National Pharmaceutical Association. Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and Pharmacy Healthlink. Public health: A practical guide for community pharmacists. [online] http://www.rpsgb.org.uk/pdfs/pubhlthguidcommph.pdf. Accessed 17 March 2007.
- 24.Protection of Employees (Part-Time Work) Act 2001.Google Scholar
- 25.Sinclair HK, Bond CM, Stead LF. Community pharmacy personnel interventions for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2. 2007.Google Scholar
- 28.Scottish Executive Health Department. New community pharmacy contract introduction of transitional arrangements: NHS circular PCA(P)(2004)9. Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. 2004. http://www.sehd.scot.nhs.uk/pca/PCA2004(P)09.pdf. Accessed 11th March 2008.