Advanced Specialist Clinical Pharmacist

JOB TITLE:              Advanced Specialist Clinical Pharmacist

BAND:           8a

HOURS OF WORK: 37.5 hours per week                               

LOCATION:              Highgate Mental Health Centre / St Pancras Hospital                    


ACCOUNTABLE TO:         Chief Pharmacist  

RESPONSIBLE TO:           Chief Pharmacist / Lead Pharmacist   




To provide leadership within the specialist pharmacy team, ensuring that the changing medicines management, optimisation and pharmacy needs are being met across the trust.


To deliver a clinical pharmacy service to teams across the trust


To support the development and implementation of medicines optimisation initiatives aligned to the trust clinical strategy. This includes leading and supporting quality improvement projects and audits related to reducing length of stay  and readmission.


Promote high quality medicines use, effective risk management, clinical governance and adherence to policies and guidelines concerning medicines use. To support the management of the medicines budget within the trust including provision of financial information and expenditure reports across all services within a scope of practice


Provide leadership within the department to support and embed the trust core values into everyday practice. 



The post holder is expected to establish and maintain positive interpersonal relationships with other staff members characterised by trust, mutual respect, and open, honest communication.


Internal Relationships

  • Pharmacy team
  • Clinical services MDT and senior managers across trust
  • Corporate teams and managers


External Relationships

  • Mental Health and Acute trust pharmacy teams
  • CCG Medicines management teams
  • GPs and practice staff
  • Community Pharmacists
  • Care agencies and providers




  • To deliver an advanced comprehensive medicines management service to patients and the multidisciplinary treatment team responsible for their care.
  • To take a leading role in demonstrating reduced LOS and Readmission through improved medicines optimisation treatment planning and adherence
  • To lead on trustwide projects and quality assurances related to medicines optimisation.
  • To provide input into policy and procedures affecting the use of pharmaceuticals at both local and trust wide levels.
  • To deputise for the Lead Pharmacist which may include attending senior meetings.
  • To be part of the Pharmacy Department senior management team and provide direct line management to designated pharmacy staff






Clinical Practice


  • To ensure safe and appropriate use of medicines in order to maximise benefit and minimise risk to patients.This includes regular review of prescriptions, identification of significant medicine interactions, advice for clinical monitoring, compliance with legal aspects (Medicines Act, Mental Health Act) of medicine supply and compliance with the Trust formulary.
  • To ensure medicines reconciliation, patient’s own medicines assessment, prescription chart endorsements and assessments for self-medication are undertaken in-line with the Trust policy.
  • To be responsible for ensuring provision of clinical pharmacy input both at ward level and to the multidisciplinary team caring for outpatients To work with the teams, which promotes shared responsibility for the activities of the joint working arrangements, mutual support and respect and to be identified co-ordinator for clients on pharmaceutical issues as appropriate.
  • To provide expert clinical advice and make recommendations on prescribing issues to secondary care clinicians in accordance with local policy and guidelines and the requirements of medicines legislation. This will require skills for analysing medicine and patient information where information may be lacking and professional opinion differs. Records of advice are maintained.


    • To act as the ‘other professional’ for Section 58 (second opinion) requirements where appropriate (for purposes related to legal requirements under the mental health act in terms of consent to treatment). In this role, the post-holder may work with distressed patients regarding medicine regimens.
    • To participate in multidisciplinary meetings to offer clinical advice, make recommendations on prescribing issues according to the Trust formulary, guidelines and requirements of medicines legislation.
    • To participate in medication history review and rationalise medicines for individual patients in conjunction with medical and nursing staff.
    • Demonstrate professional accountability to patients.
    • To manage and make appropriate referrals to other members of the multidisciplinary team and within the pharmacy department.
  • To provide advice to clinicians on unlicensed medicines use and areas of practice where the evidence base is lacking or medical opinion differs.
  • To reduce risk associated with medicines use by contributing to the safe medication practice agenda.This will include identification and reporting of medicines related incidents and support development and implementation of the action plan to support outcomes.
  • To be able to critically appraise the literature and give accurate interpretation in order improve use of medicines.
  • To demonstrate expert clinical knowledge in the specialist area of mental health pharmacy services and motivate and inspire others.


  • Be responsible for providing a clinical pharmacy service to groups of patients:
    • Review prescriptions for accuracy and legality and identify actual or potential problems.
    • Ensure the effective supply of medicines suitable for use as an inpatient and appropriately labelled for discharge if applicable.
    • Ensure the effective outcomes of treatment with medicines
    • Monitor patients for potential and actual adverse effects of their medicines
    • Take steps to ensure patients understand the purpose of their medicines and deal with any practical issues that may prevent the optimal use of their medicines
    • Support the planning of patient discharge with respect to medication, including the transcription of requests for dispensing.
  • To attend relevant local clinical governance groups and/or management meetings and provide information and advice on medicines management aspects of clinical governance in line with Trust wide medicines management agenda.
  • To assist the Chief Pharmacist in identifying local service developments and service improvements and support the modernisation agenda for pharmacy services in partnership with acute trusts.
  • To be responsible for ensuring medicines are handled safe and securely within designated clinical areas and report to the C&I Chief Pharmacist for this purpose.
  • To act as a clinical role model and demonstrate the ability to provide safe, clinically effective and cost efficient use of medicines.





  • Communicate proactively on medicines management and optimisation issues (including legal and clinical governance issues) to senior managers, clinicians and other healthcare professions within the trust, and where appropriate, acute/community trust pharmacy services and CCGs within the local health economy.
  • Communicate with pharmacy staff on the development of the trust Medicines Optimisation Strategy, trust policies and procedures.
  • Communicates with consultants and service managers on medicines expenditure to support clinical and cost effective use of medicines across the trust.
  • Communicates with service managers regarding practice standards and new service developments.
  • Communicates with Human Resources Department on recruitment and staff management issues.
  • To identify and respond to the specialist pharmaceutical information needs of patients, carers, doctors, nurses, and other members of the healthcare team.Information will be required to be presented on an individual case basis and as part of structured medication education groups. The information may be highly complex, sensitive or contentious.
  • To ensure information is provided in a timely manner, to the appropriate individual (in accordance with the degree of urgency of the request or issue identified).
  • To provide, summarise, communicate and record highly specialised evidence-based information and advice on all aspects of medicines usage including complex medicines information queries to medical, nursing and pharmacy staff and may be challenged.
  • To present information in a suitable format (e.g. written and/or verbal) and style for the target audience.Barriers to effective communication may include learning disability, mental impairment, non-consenting/noncompliant patients, and patients detained under the mental health act who may be violent/aggressive.
  • Whilst concentrating on activities may be interrupted by urgent requests for advice.



Management of staff


  • To be responsible for line management of allocated pharmacy staff. This includes performance appraisal, and recruitment.Disciplinary matters will be dealt with by the post holder in conjunction with the lead pharmacist and Chief Pharmacist..
  • To assess training needs and to plan and evaluate provision of training. Make recommendations to the Chief Pharmacist for development in line with national priorities and policies.
  • To support senior managers to co-ordinate cover for the service to ensure the effective deployment of staff.
  • Ensuring staff work to standard operating procedures.
  • Ensure allocated staff attend training events and relevant post graduate courses as identified in their personal development plan.
  • To participate as a member of senior staff groups, inputting to pharmacy business planning and strategy via Pharmacy Management Meetings.
  • To assist the Chief Pharmacist in identification of cost pressures and compliance with Trust Medicines Committee policy and procedures at local directorate level.



Management of resources

  • To monitor expenditure on pharmaceuticals and provide information to budget holders, clinicians and managers where relevant. This will include identification of cost pressures and acting upon any unusual expenditure.
  • To support management of Trust Medicines Budgets by providing financial data and interpretation to the Chief Pharmacist and service managers / consultants on medicine use and expenditure at the allocated C&I services.







Professional Responsibility

  • To provide, implement and monitor local policies and procedures for the safe, effective use of medicines in liaison with colleagues and other professions as appropriate.
  • To ensure systems of work in the department conform to professional and legal standards.
  • To deliver and support staff in the delivery of training to other health professionals.
  • To support the Chief Pharmacist and Accountable Officer for CD’s in the provision of a safe pharmacy service that meets national standards.
  • Provide expert advice on medicines management, including legal advice, ethical and cost effectiveness, to the senior managers, consultants and other health care professionals.
  • Reconcile national priorities with local realities through policy interpretation and prioritisation with respect to own area of responsibility
  • To continually evaluate services in order to detect and manage risk associated with medicines use.
  • Assess and support quality use of medicines through contributing to the development of the trustmedicines management audit programme which assesses practice against the current evidence base.
  • To be responsible for managing own workload in an unpredictable environment.
  • Identify new prescribing practices which may result in impact on budget.
  • Ensure staff possess or develop the clinical and technical competency and skills required to work within specialist mental health services and areas of responsibility.
  • To contribute to business continuity planning for pharmacy team in liaison with the Chief Pharmacist and senior pharmacy management team.
  • Demonstrate professional accountability to service users, stakeholders, and the profession.
  • To undertake mandatory continuing professional development in order to maintain a practising registration with the General Pharmaceutical Council.
  • To provide pharmacist support in the dispensary according to the needs of the service
  • To deputise for the lead pharmacist as appropriate



Research and Service Development


  • To take a leading role in the following project areas:


  • Identification of medicines related barriers to discharge that can be addressed most effectively by improved medicines optimisation.
  • Datasystems to demonstrate pharmacy impact and improved medicines optimisation on reduced length of stay & re-admission.
  • Early comprehensive medication treatment planning by providing expert clinical pharmacist input, support and advice to the clinical team.
  • Review and analysis of clozapine and depot prescribingacross the trust.To identify key changes and developments to optimise prescribing of these medicines and reduce re-admission rates to inpatient units and crisis teams.
  • Contribution to sector meetings that focus on setting EDD and >50 day stay patients
  • Ensuring medication treatment plans are communicated and implemented effectively throughout the patient journey and across services. This will include reviewing current systems and identifying new innovative ways to improve current practice.
  • Coordination of discharge work with the Senior Pharmacy Technician and the proposed‘Discharge Coordination Hub’
  • Identifying roles forpharmacy independent prescribers to support medicines optimisation in these areas
  • Provide leadership and support to clinical pharmacists enabling them to gain experience and confidence to undertake more complex clinical work
  • Providing senior clinical pharmacy leadership to the sectors


  • To identify, undertake, write up or supervise audits relating to own area of practice.
  • To present audit reports and action plans at trust and/or local service clinical governance and quality improvement meetings as appropriate.
  • To participate in the C&I Trust wide QI and Medicines Audit programmes.This includes assisting with identification of audit topics, and supporting collection and analysis of data and completing the audit cycle.
  • Promote and facilitate pharmacy practice related research within mental health pharmacy services.
  • To integrate research into practice and to implement changes required as a result of the audit cycle.



Training & development


  • To support the training and development of pharmacists pre-registration pharmacists and pharmacy technicians within the department ensuring they have adequate knowledge and competencies to perform their duties.
  • To act as accredited tutor for pharmacists undertaking the post graduate clinical certificate/diploma
  • To proactively participate in and take turn in chairing the department Clinical Pharmacy CE / CPD meeting.
  • To participate in the C&I medicines management training programme. This will include preparing and delivering training to staff trust wide.
  • To provide education and training to acute trust pharmacy services on mental health issues.
  • The post holder and staff under the management of the post holder will continually update their skills and knowledge as part of continuing professional development.
  • To undertake mandatory and statutory training as required by Trust policy.
  • To undertake personal development as identified in the Personal Development Plan (PDP).






  • All staff are responsible for the continual compliance with CQC standards and outcomes.


  • The postholder must be aware of, and work in line with, the Trust’s Safeguarding Adults and Children procedures.




Other duties


  • To participate in the provision of extended hours, including evenings, weekends and bank holidays according to formal rota arrangements
  • To participate in the pharmacy on call if required
  • To work at all trust locations as required.
  • To provide pharmacist support in the dispensary according to the needs of the service
  • To undertake any other duties as agreed with the Lead and/or Chief Pharmacist
  • To deputise for Lead Pharmacist as appropriate



Supplementary Information:


In the course of their duties the post-holder may be:


  • Frequently exposed to distressed patients due to the nature of their illness i.e. suicide, deliberate self-harm, overdoses, abuse and the undesirable adverse effects of specific complex medicine treatments e.g. sexual side effects, weight gain and lack of insight for the need of treatment.


  • Exposed to unpleasant smells and body fluids on the wards and clinic area.


  • Occasionally exposed to verbal aggression from patients on wards and from outpatients and potential risk of physical aggression from patients.


The work pattern may be frequently unpredictable due to constant changes and demands and interruption from healthcare professionals or patients. Physical effort includes travel to off-site locations.

Pharmacy services will be provided to trust services as appropriate this may include inpatient services, outpatient services, Rehabilitation Units, Rehabilitation and Recovery Teams (R&R), Assertive Outreach Teams (AOTs) and Crisis Resolution Teams (CRTs), Depot Clinic and the Clozapine Clinic.


The postholder may be based at either Highgate Mental Health Centre or St Pancras Hospital and will also be required to travel off-site to provide pharmacy services at other locations.


Emergency Duty Cover, bank holiday rotas, Saturdays and Sundays as per current departmental practice.


Notice Period: 3 months.


Job Flexibility


The postholder will be required to work flexibly, providing assistance as and when necessary, which may involve them in a developing role.




            All staff are required to be appraised by their line managers at least once a year at a personal development review meeting where progress made over the last year is discussed and agreed. Focus on the following year’s departmental and personal objectives will be identified, discussed and agreed. Where necessary, help and support will be provided and development opportunities agreed in line with service provision and knowledge and skills competency framework. 




This is a newly created role and it is expected that as the organisation develops and changes, it may be necessary to vary the tasks and/or the responsibilities of the postholder.  This will be done in consultation with the postholder and it is hoped that agreement can be reached to any reasonable changes.





This post is subject to the requirements of a six month probationary scheme for new staff only.



The post holder must at all times maintain a complete confidentiality of the material and information that they handle.  Any matters of a confidential nature, or in particular, information relating to diagnoses and treatment of patients and individual staff records must not, under any circumstances, be divulged or passed on to any unauthorised person or persons.  The postholder must respect patient named confidentiality in keeping with “Caldicott principles”.



Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust has a code of conduct for all non-registered staff in a direct care role.  As an employee of the Trust you are expected to comply with this code at all times, and any breach of it whilst in practice will be investigated by the Trust.


Copies of the code of conduct can be obtained from the Human Resources Department and it is also available on the Camden and Islington NHS intranet.




All staff who contribute to patients’ care records are expected to be familiar with, and adhere to, the Trust’s Standards of Records Keeping Policy. Staff should be aware that patients’ care records throughout the Trust will be subject to regular audit.


All staff who have access to patients’ care records have a responsibility to ensure that these are maintained efficiently and that confidentiality is protected in line with the Trust’s Confidentiality of Health Records Policy.


All staff have an obligation to ensure that care records are maintained efficiently and that confidentiality is protected. Staff are also subject to this obligation both on an implied basis and also on the basis that, on accepting their job description, they agree to maintain both patient / client and staff confidentiality.


In addition, all health professionals are advised to compile records on the assumption that they are accessible to patients in line with the Data Protection Act.



If you are employed in an area of work which requires membership of a professional body in order to practice (e.g. Nursing & Midwifery Council for nurses), it is a condition precedent of your employment to maintain membership of such a professional body.  It is also your responsibility to comply with the relevant body’s code of practice.  Your manager will be able to advise you on which, if any, professional body of which you must be a member. 


You are required to advise the Foundation Trust if your professional body in any way limits or changes the terms of your registration.


Failure to remain registered or to comply with the relevant code of practice may result in temporary downgrading, suspension from duty and/or disciplinary action, which may result in the termination of your employment.


If you are required to have registration with a particular professional body or to have specific qualifications you must notify your manager on appointment of such fact and provide him or her with documentary evidence of them before your employment commences or, at the latest, on your first day of employment.   Furthermore throughout your employment with the Foundation Trust, you are required on demand by your manager to provide him or her with documentary evidence of your registration with any particular professional body or in respect of any required qualifications.



All Trust employees are accountable, through the terms and conditions of their employment, professional regulations, clinical governance and statutory health and safety regulations, and are responsible for reporting incidents, being aware of the risk management strategy and emergency procedures and attendance at training as required.


All staff have a responsibility to manage risk within their sphere of responsibility.  It is a statutory duty to take reasonable care of their own safety and the safety of others who may be affected by acts or omissions.


All managers throughout the organisation have a responsibility to ensure that policies and procedures are followed, that staff receive appropriate training, that a local risk register is developed and monitored on a quarterly basis and any changes reported to the Clinical Governance Committee and Risk and Assurance Committee.


Managers are responsible for implementing and monitoring any identified risk management control measures within their designated area/s and scope of responsibility.  In situations where significant risks have been identified and where local control measures are considered to be potentially inadequate, managers are responsible for bringing these risks to the attention of the Clinical Governance Committee or Risk and Assurance Committee if resolution has not been satisfactorily achieved.



The post holder will be expected to comply with all statutory legislation, Trust Financial Framework Guidance and approved national and local policy. The postholder is also expected to be aware of the Trust’s Risk Management Strategy which includes the responsibilities placed on them by the Health & Safety at Work etc Act (1974) and the Clinical Governance Framework. All employees are expected to comply with all Trust Policies and Procedures.



The Trust is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and vulnerable adults. All staff are expected to implement the Trusts’ Safeguarding policies and procedures, act promptly on concern, communicate effectively and share information appropriately.



Employees must be aware of the responsibilities placed on them by the Health & Safety at Work etc Act (1974) to ensure that the agreed safety procedure is carried out to maintain a safe environment for the other employees and visitors.



Employees must be aware of the responsibilities placed upon them by The Health Act (2007) to ensure they maintain a safe, infection free environment. This includes the knowledge and understanding of the management of infected patients and the principles of Standard Infection Control Precautions including the correct technique for Hand Washing and the appropriate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)



The post holder will be expected to comply with all statutory legislation, Trust Financial Framework Guidance and approved national and local policy.


The postholder will be expected to be responsible for his/her continuing professional development and to take a proactive approach to maintaining personal and professional effectiveness in an evolving role.


The duties and responsibilities described in this Job Description are intended to be indicative but not exhaustive of the responsibilities of the postholder.  As the Trust develops, the requirements of the job may change and the postholder is expected to adapt to these changes.




The Trust operates in a multi-ethnic area.  All members of staff are expected to take into account equalities in all areas of work.


All employees are expected to abide by the Trust’s equal opportunities policy, failure to do so could result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.


Date: 27th September 2018

Prepared By: Lucy Reeves

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