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

Linda Birt, Lindsay Dalgarno, Christine Bond, Richard Holland, David Alldred, Carmel Hughes, Annie Blyth, Laura Watts, David Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number551
Number of pages10
JournalBMC Medical Education
Early online date15 Jul 2022
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2022


  • Care homes
  • Deprescribing
  • Independent prescribing
  • Medicine management
  • Pharmacist
  • Professional competency
  • Training

Cite this