Evaluation of a training programme for Pharmacist Independent Prescribers in a care home medicine management intervention

L Birt* (Corresponding Author), L Dalgarno, C M Bond, R Holland, D P Alldred, C Hughes, A Blyth, L Watts, D J Wright, CHIPPS Team

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The provision of independent prescribing rights for United Kingdom (UK) pharmacists has enabled them to prescribe within their area of competence. The aim of this study was to evaluate an evidence-based training programme designed to prepare Pharmacist Independent Prescribers (PIPs) to safely and effectively assume responsibility for pharmaceutical care of older people in care homes in the UK, within a randomised controlled trial.

METHODS: The training and competency assessment process included two training days, professional development planning against a bespoke competency framework, mentor support, and a viva with an independent General Practitioner (GP). Data on the PIPs' perceptions of the training were collected through evaluation forms immediately after the training days and through online questionnaires and interviews after delivery of the 6-month intervention. Using a mixed method approach each data set was analysed separately then triangulated providing a detailed evaluation of the process. Kaufman's Model of Learning Evaluation guided interpretations.

RESULTS: All 25 PIPs who received the training completed an evaluation form (N = 25). Post-intervention questionnaires were completed by 16 PIPs and 14 PIPs took part in interviews. PIPs reported the training days and mentorship enabled them to develop a personalised portfolio of competence in preparation for discussion during a viva with an independent GP. Contact with the mentor reduced as PIPs gained confidence in their role. PIPs applied their new learning throughout the delivery of the intervention leading to perceived improvements in residents' quality of life and medicines management. A few PIPs reported that developing a portfolio of competence was time intensive, and that further training on leadership skills would have been beneficial.

CONCLUSIONS: The bespoke training programme was fit for purpose. Mentorship and competency assessment were resource intensive but appropriate. An additional benefit was that many PIPs reported professional growth beyond the requirement of the study.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: The definitive RCT was registered with the ISRCTN registry (registration number ISRCTN 17,847,169 ).

Original languageEnglish
Article number551
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medical Education
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Thank you to residents and their families who agreed to receive the intervention, the pharmacists, GP practices and care homes who delivered the intervention and took part in the process evaluation. We would also like to acknowledge the South Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group as the study sponsor and the CHIPPS Study team

This is a summary of independent research funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Programme Grants for Applied Research Programme (Grant Reference Number RP-PG-0613–20007). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the National Health Service, the NIHR or the Department of Health.

Data Availability Statement

The datasets used and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  • Aged
  • General Practitioners
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Services
  • Pharmacists
  • Quality of Life
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


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