Pharmacists as clinicians: past, present and future

<p">The Centre for Primary Health & Social Care at London Metropolitan University organised an event titled Pharmacists as clinicians: past, present and future.

Our speakers were Dr Imelda McDermott and Professor Ellen Schafheutle, Centre for Pharmacy Workforce Studies, University of Manchester.

The talk provided an overview of the development of the pharmacy workforce in England across all settings (primary care, community pharmacy, and hospital pharmacy). There has been a policy shift towards pharmacists moving from the traditional role of medicines supply to patient-facing, clinical work. This has led pharmacists to engage in ‘identity work’ and ‘boundary work’ to reflect the expansion of their roles. Funded national learning programmes can provide pharmacists with the discursive strategies to legitimise their identity work as clinicians. We situated our talk within the context of the historical development of the profession and future policy direction, whereby all pharmacists will be independent prescribers by 2026.

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