All registered clinical pharmacists have undergone a degree in Pharmacy followed by a Pre-Registration period of one year. Most pharmacists have also undertaken a postgraduate clinical diploma qualification. They work in conjunction with pharmacy medicines management technicians looking after a patient’s drug supply and therapy whilst they are in hospital.
Most wards receive a daily visit by a clinical pharmacist. The pharmacist will check a patient’s drug therapy whilst they are in hospital to ensure they are taking the medication that patients were having at home.
Pharmacists work closely with the medical, nursing and other healthcare teams to make sure the patients are taking the right medicines and they are all ok to be taken together, as well as plan for the patients discharge.
Many pharmacists have a specialist role in a particular field and so work as part of a team in that area with the doctors and nurses.
Medicines management technicians are qualified in NVQ level 3/BTEC in pharmacy and registered with the General Pharmacy Council. They are ward based and are part of the ward team. They help improve workflow in the dispensary by planning ahead for discharge.
When patients are admitted the technician will obtain details of the patient’s medication prior to admission from a variety of sources: patient, patients own medication, carers, relatives, GP surgeries, nursing homes and community chemists. This information is referred to the ward pharmacist who then reconciles the information within 24 hours after admission as guided by the ‘Safer Patient Initiative’
We encourage patients to bring in medication at admission so that the technician can assess its suitability for future use, both during their stay and at discharge and also to highlight compliance issues. Medication is stored in individual medication lockers located at the bedside.
Technicians monitor the drug chart for missed doses, supply, omissions, and endorses important instructions against each medicine regarding appropriate administration.
Technicians provide counselling to patients on how to take their medication.
Approaching the discharge stage, technicians and pharmacists can help with organising the ‘take home’ medication in a timely manner.