NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Quality Payments Scheme deadline, or to increase your confidence in helping people with a learning disability, this section provides topic-specific pages that link to current NHS priorities. This section will support you in keeping your knowledge and skills up to date in order to provide high-quality pharmacy services and be service-ready.

Clinical pharmacy

Our clinical portfolio is expanding on a frequent basis, helping you to advance your knowledge and skills and deliver medicines optimisation in practice for all sectors of pharmacy. From two new focal points a year to our small group learning for hospital pharmacists – Optimise – this section focuses on clinical pharmacy, diseases and therapeutics.

Public health

The public health agenda is embedded in pharmacy, yet topics such as emergency contraception or stop smoking support are as prevalent as ever. As well as our public health workshops, use this section to access a wide range of resources to assure and maintain your competence, all underpinned by the Declaration of Competence system.




Welcome to this collection of learning and assessment on the topic of hypertension. Hypertension is one of the most important preventable causes of premature morbidity and mortality in the UK. It is a major risk factor for stroke, heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease and cognitive decline. However, it may be managed effectively with lifestyle interventions and appropriate medicines. At least one quarter of adults (and more than half of those older than 60) have high blood pressure. Those who do often have no symptoms. This may introduce challenges with taking medicines when multiple medicines are prescribed. Pharmacy professionals in all sectors have an important role to play in the prevention, identification and management of hypertension. Here you will find several types of learning resource including learning programmes, guidelines and helpful tools which you can apply to your pharmacy practice. The learning will help you to feel confident in raising the awareness of hypertension and supporting patients in making healthy lifestyle choices. Being up-to-date with the clinical guidelines will support discussions around medicines options, and aid the shared decision-making process. Take a look at the resources now to find out how you can develop your practice.


The overall aim of this learning programme is to provide and signpost you to key learning to increase your confidence in providing effective NMS consultations for patients newly prescribed an antihypertensive medicine.

4h:00m (for events this includes pre and post event learning)

Learning Objectives:

On completion of all aspects of this learning programme you should be able to:
  • discuss the key issues in the drug management of hypertension
  • find key resources to help you plan and complete NMS consultations for patients taking antihypertensives
  • list the key counselling points for patients taking antihypertensives as a new medicine
  • provide advice for patients presenting with questions and concerns at an NMS consultation.

Vascular risk and the NHS health check programme

This resource is not currently available to you, click for more information.

The aim of this e-learning programme is to provide you with a better understanding of vascular risk and the NHS health check programme.

It looks at the health policy surrounding the NHS health check programme and how it is commissioned. This learning defines cardiovascular risk and looks at some of the different assessment tools available and how these are used to estimate an individual’s cardiovascular risk.

It looks at the importance of communication with patients about their modifiable risk factors. Information on how to perform the NHS health check has been included and how to embed clinical governance into your NHS health check service.

6h:00m (for events this includes pre and post event learning)

Learning Objectives:

On completion of this learning programme you should be able to:
  • define the term cardiovascular risk and discuss which vascular diseases are included in the NHS health check programme
  • describe how the NHS health check programme fits into current health policy, how it is commissioned and some of the practical aspects of providing a pharmacy-based service
  • assess an individual’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) using appropriate evidence-based tools
  • explain management options for modifiable risk factors following an NHS health check
  • manage patients identified as having low, medium or high risk
  • identify situations where referral to another practitioner is appropriate following the NHS health check
  • develop strategies for communicating with patients who are at risk of CVD.
external resource

Public Health England Healthier lives: high blood pressure

external resource

NICE Clinical Knowledge Summary: Hypertension - not diabetic


Medicines optimisation - helping people get the most from their medicines

This resource is not currently available to you, click for more information.

The aim of this e-learning programme is to consider the concept of medicines optimisation. You will then plan your own development so you can practice medicines optimisation routinely to improve outcomes for your patients.

3h:00m (for events this includes pre and post event learning)

Learning Objectives:

On completion of all aspects of this learning programme you should be able to:
  • explain what is meant by the term medicines optimisation and why it is important to improve patient outcomes
  • access the national guidance and tools supporting medicines optimisation
  • discuss how you can use future and innovative models of care to deliver medicines optimisation for your patients and local population
  • describe the importance of patient-centred care, shared decision making and consultation skills in optimising medicines
  • explain the need for effective communication between health and social care practitioners across all care settings.
external resource

Medicines optimisation: helping patients to make the most of medicines

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