Journal of Pharmacy Management - July 2019

Journal of Pharmacy Management • Volume 35 • Issue 3 • July 2019 111 What were the main drivers for the establishment of the post and how did it come about? A psychiatrist within the team had previous experience of working closely with a pharmacist in London and was very keen to replicate the benefits elsewhere. This recognition of service enhancement via the utilisation of pharmacist skills led to the initial pilot and, following the successful trial of the role, the post became substantive. What have been the main difficulties in establishing/developing the post to its current level? Establishing a relatively novel post invariably presents many challenges, and no less with this niche area. Challenges initially encountered include the fact that role of a pharmacist within an already highly-functioning, dynamic team of professionals was almost a mystery to some - including myself; the main question was clearly ‘what exactly do we do with a pharmacist’? It took time to figure out the areas in which I could most effectively relieve the workload of others, with the eventual recognition of abilities and limitations borne from many hours spent within the team. Another significant challenge was getting to know so many different people and remembering names (which, I’d love to say, I’m now better at; however, this would be a little white lie). What have been the main achievements/successes of the post? Clearly there are quantitative and qualitative metrics that can be employed to measure outcomes and subsequent benefits to services in terms of patient safety. From a personal point of view however, success can be measured by the acceptance and recognition of the role by peers and colleagues far more experienced in liaison services. The appreciation and utilisation of the post, alongside the knowledge that many patients have benefited from decisions stemming directly from the pharmacist, are achievements in themselves. What are the main challenges/priorities for future development within the post which you currently face? Expansion of the post to embed and involve a pharmacist within other liaison services is an obvious next step. The most prominent challenge is the fact that, although liaison services essentially all work towards the same purpose, individual teams differ in working patterns and practices so a ‘one size fits all’ ethos is not necessarily workable for transplantation of the role into other Trusts. There’s a good possibility that where the blueprint for a successful role is transplanted elsewhere, major adaptation will still be required to achieve a similar level of success. There is a need to identify how a pharmacist’s skills and knowledge can best augment a well-established and highly functioning team.