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.

Mental health

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This study day focuses on common mental health conditions seen in primary care. It will enable you to support patients with a mental health condition to optimise their medicines. The study day will combine principles of team-based learning (TBL) to facilitate networking and discussion whilst consolidating the underpinning knowledge about antidepressants, benzodiazepines and z-hypnotics. Teams will work through simple and more complex case studies to apply knowledge and share best practice.

This programme has been developed by UEA for pharmacists on the general practice training pathway but we have now made these available to all pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pre registration pharmacists who wish to access this event.


10h: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 how mental health conditions can impact on patients and their carers and the key priorities for maintaining good mental health
  • outline drug and non-drug management for depression
  • apply national guidelines, referral criteria and evidence-informed decision-making on depression to patient care in general practice
  • develop a plan to improve safety and quality for benzodiazepine and z-drugs prescribing in general practice
  • identify strategies for supporting patients to reduce or stop benzodiazepines and z-drugs.
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The overall aim of this course is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to support people with mental illness that you encounter in your practice. Following an introduction to mental health we will concentrate on: depression, anxiety disorders and insomnia, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, older people and dementia and children and adolescents. We will conclude by looking at supporting people with mental illness across all care settings. By engaging fully and actively with the content you will feel more confident in providing advice to people with mental illness and be ready to deliver a high quality service.


40h: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:
  • describe more about what is meant by the terms 'mental health problem' or 'mental illness'
  • describe the presentation and management of at least five mental illnesses
  • list the main classes of medicines used in the management of five mental illnesses and how and when they are used
  • describe the non-pharmacological approaches in the management of five mental illnesses
  • access the relevant National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance and resources
  • identify approaches to improve your consultation skills with people with mental illness using a person-centred approach
  • explain the key role the pharmacy team has in supporting people with mental illness to make decisions about their medicines and optimise their outcomes
  • describe the challenges in supporting people with mental illness in different care settings and across care interfaces.
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Consulting with people with mental health problems

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

In this programme you will consider what is different about consulting with people with mental health problems and how you can prepare for and approach these consultations so that people get the most benefit from them.


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


Learning Objectives:

After completing this e-learning programme, you should be able to:
  • describe the mental health treatment gap and the importance of parity of esteem (valuing mental health equally with physical health)
  • recognise the impact of stigma and discrimination experienced by those with mental health problems
  • select the key national practice standards most applicable to pharmacy consultations with people with mental health problems
  • reflect on your consultations with people experiencing mental health problems
  • maximise the effectiveness of your consultations in this field by applying person-centred skills and behaviours
  • identify possible risks in your consultations with people with mental health problems.
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In this programme you will consider how to prepare for, and approach consultations with people suffering from dementia and how best to involve their carers or family members in these discussions.


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 importance and benefits of involving people with dementia in consultations and decisions about their treatment and health
  • describe the skills and techniques needed to engage and communicate effectively with people with dementia
  • identify some key national practice standards most applicable to pharmacy consultations with people with dementia
  • recognise and address the challenges of a three-way consultation
  • apply the knowledge, behaviours and person-centred skills needed to maximise the effectiveness of your consultations with people with dementia.
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This programme is designed for pharmacy professionals in all sectors to gain new insights into different areas of mental health and how you, in your own setting and practice, can make a difference to people with these, often invisible, conditions.

The cards focus on different areas of support for people living with mental health conditions.


Learning Objectives:

On completion of all aspects of this programme you should be able to:
  • define a range of mental health conditions and recognise the impact that these can have on people's lives
  • identify appropriate support options that you can offer to people with different mental health conditions
  • demonstrate patient-centred consultation skills to engage people living with mental health conditions
  • promote physical health and wellbeing as part of a treatment regime and encourage positive lifestyle choices
  • provide mental health first aid to people in a crisis situation
  • explain the importance of medicines optimisation as a strategy to support people living with mental health conditions
  • support a non-discriminatory approach to people with mental health conditions, both inside and outside of the workplace.
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Our education and research initiatives are core to our charitable aims. Our short courses provide opportunities for professionals to improve their knowledge.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Chirag and the problems presented by his behaviour.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Dee. She is 32 years old and has recently given birth to her first baby, Sam.

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Complete the case study to find out more about Elsie. She is 80-years-old and had dementia.

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Complete the case study to find out more about how you can support Grayson.

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Complete this reflective activity to find out more about Harry who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia five years ago.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Jace, a you man who visits a pharmacy in an agitated state. He stopped taking his medication 3 weeks ago.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Ryan and his new medicines.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Paul and how he can support his daughter, Sienna. Sienna is 11 years old and struggles with anxiety.

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Complete this case study to find out more about Vitesh who was diagnosed with schizophrenia two years ago.

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Nice Guidance by topic, listing Mental health and behavioural conditions.

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Medicines optimisation is about ensuring that the right patients get the right choice of medicine, at the right time

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Work your way around the Depression learning topic, taking part in bite-sized interactive challenges that will help you your team support people experiencing depression. The challenges will help you to signpost to local support groups, promote good mental health, while advising patients who wish to purchase over-the-counter medicines for insomnia or low mood.

You can access this learning here: Depression - theLearningpharmacy.com


Learning Objectives:

On completion of all aspects of this learning programme you should be able to:
  • develop and run an effective health promotion campaign in your pharmacy
  • provide advice and signposting on self-care and public health
  • explain how to deal effectively with patient queries about long term conditions or medicines
  • explain how you would develop and deliver a successful pharmacy service
  • support a person presenting with a new prescription
  • describe how to advise appropriately a patient requesting an OTC medicine
  • become more confident in dealing with therapeutic challenges and prescription interventions
  • explain how you would work in partnership with other healthcare professionals to support patients.
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This e-assessment is linked with the practice standards for consultation skills and the CPPE consultation skills learning programmes.


Why should I do this assessment?

Completing this assessment will help you to check your progress and your ability to meet the competencies set out in the practice standards for consultation skills. Passing the assessment will provide assurance to you, your colleagues, other healthcare professionals and patients that you are able to recognise good practice, as well as practice that needs development.

Access and successful completion of this assessment will contribute to your own personal development plan, be recorded in your My CPPE record and will enable you to complete a CPD entry on the learning. It may also provide evidence for achieving competencies in the RPS Foundation or Advanced Pharmacy Frameworks. If you are working towards completing a Declaration of Competence for a pharmacy service, successful completion of this assessment will provide evidence of your learning.

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HeadMeds has created seven digital tools to improve the mental health and emotional wellbeing of children and young people.

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Dedicated to finding and addressing the sources of mental health problems.

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We provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. We campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.

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Heads Together wants to help people feel much more comfortable with their everyday mental wellbeing and have the practical tools to support their friends and family.

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The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional body responsible for education and training, and setting and raising standards in psychiatry.

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