Attitudes of successful candidates of supplementary prescribing courses to their training and their extended roles

S. Warchal, David Brown, M. Tomlin, Jane Portlock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: To ascertain whether successfully completing a supplementary prescribing (SP) course can empower pharmacists in terms of their extended roles.

Design: Postal questionnaire and telephone interview.

Subjects and setting: 38 pharmacist supplementary prescribers, selected by purposive sampling, who completed a supplementary prescribing course in the UK between October 2004 and March 2005.

Outcome measures: Qualitative and quantitative analysis of respondents' written comments, validated and enriched by telephone interview.

Results: Subjects undertook a course mainly for reasons of personal development and to benefit patients (>80%); most were positive about their course. Overall, subjects emerged from their courses in confident mood to start their new role and were engaged in SP for a wide range of therapeutic areas. A number of barriers to role development were identified, notably in community pharmacy, where time and lack of access to patient medical records were particular problems. A feeling of lack of support was prevalent among primary care trust pharmacists. Hospital pharmacists had written the most SP prescriptions in the previous month and appeared to be facing fewer obstacles. A clear majority (> 80%) were in favour of progressing to independent prescribing and allowing greater prescribing powers for other health care professionals.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence that SP qualification can empower practising pharmacists, but that due consideration should be given to providing a supportive environment in which to practise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-352
Number of pages5
JournalPharmaceutical Journal
Issue number7393
Publication statusPublished - 25 Mar 2006


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