Consultation skills development in general practice: findings from a qualitative study of newly recruited and more experienced clinical pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Journal article


Madden, M., Stewart, D., Mills, T. and McCambridge, J. (2023). Consultation skills development in general practice: findings from a qualitative study of newly recruited and more experienced clinical pharmacists during the COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ Open. 13 (4), p. e069017. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069017
AuthorsMadden, M., Stewart, D., Mills, T. and McCambridge, J.
AbstractThe new structured medication review (SMR) service was introduced into the National Health Service in England during the COVID-19 pandemic, following a major expansion of clinical pharmacists within new formations known as primary care networks (PCNs). The aim of the SMR is to tackle problematic polypharmacy through comprehensive, personalised medication reviews involving shared decision-making. Investigation of clinical pharmacists' perceptions of training needs and skills acquisition issues for person-centred consultation practice will help better understand their readiness for these new roles. A longitudinal interview and observational study in general practice. A longitudinal study of 10 newly recruited clinical pharmacists interviewed three times, plus a single interview with 10 pharmacists recruited earlier and already established in general practice, across 20 newly forming PCNs in England. Observation of a compulsory 2-day history taking and consultation skills workshop. A modified framework method supported a constructionist thematic analysis. Remote working during the pandemic limited opportunities for patient-facing contact. Pharmacists new to their role in general practice were predominantly concerned with improving clinical knowledge and competence. Most said they already practiced person-centred care, using this terminology to describe transactional medicines-focused practice. Pharmacists rarely received direct feedback on consultation practice to calibrate perceptions of their own competence in person-centred communication, including shared decision-making skills. Training thus provided knowledge delivery with limited opportunities for actual skills acquisition. Pharmacists had difficulty translating abstract consultation principles into specific consultation practices. SMRs were introduced when the dedicated workforce was largely new and being trained. Addressing problematic polypharmacy requires structural and organisational interventions to enhance the communication skills of clinical pharmacists (and other health professionals), and their use in practice. The development of person-centred consultation skills requires much more substantial support than has so far been provided for clinical pharmacists. [Abstract copyright: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2023. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.]
KeywordsHumans; COVID-19; General Practice; quality in health care; State Medicine; Pharmacists; Attitude of Health Personnel; primary care; qualitative research; Referral and Consultation; Longitudinal Studies; Pandemics; education & training (see medical education & training)
Year2023
JournalBMJ Open
Journal citation13 (4), p. e069017
PublisherBMJ
ISSN2044-6055
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2022-069017
Publication dates
Online13 Apr 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted18 Mar 2023
Deposited28 Apr 2023
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Open
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