Typically, community pharmacy services tend to be undertaken by the pharmacist, with dispensing staff (technicians and dispensers) focussing on medicine supply and Healthcare Assistants on the ‘front’ of house’ roles. However, over recent years these roles have become less well defined with PTs, dispensers and HCAs undertaking some services themselves e.g. smoking cessation and NHS Health Checks.
In addition to this, PTs (a regulated profession in its own right) are increasingly taking over more of the supply role in pharmacies. The introduction of accuracy checking technicians now, theoretically, means that pharmacists should have more time to focus on patient facing activities as they can delegate these tasks to suitably qualified professionals. In hospital pharmacy this has been the case for many years and is now routine. Hospital pharmacists perform the clinical check on the prescription and after this point the process is technician led. However, in community pharmacy there are issues that prevent this model being implemented to its full potential. These barriers include lines of accountability, staff numbers, clinical check processes and supervision by pharmacists. These barriers have largely led community pharmacy PTs to become unsatisfied in their roles and once qualified look for alternative employment in a hospital setting where job satisfaction and role development is greater.
Example PhD research questions might include:
1. What is the current international evidence for the role of PTs in community pharmacy? [review]
2. What are the current experiences of PTs and other pharmacy staff working with them, of community pharmacy? Does this need to change? [qualitative work]
3. What are the training and mentoring requirements for a more enhanced PT role in community pharmacy?