NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Pharmacy Quality 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.

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distance learning


  • Released: 02/2016
  • Reviewed: 07/2023
  • Study time: 4h:0m
  • Standard price: £10.00
  • NHS England-funded price: £0.00

This programme aims to help you to develop your knowledge and skills to improve your confidence and competence in working with patients and other health and social care professionals to enable patients to get the best possible outcomes when they are taking multiple medicines.

Learning outcomes

On completion of all aspects of this learning programme you should be able to:

  • explain the terminology associated with polypharmacy and what it means for patients and the health and social care team
  • list the causes and consequences of polypharmacy in relation to the patient, their carer and the wider NHS
  • identify medicines that cause problems for patients with polypharmacy and triggers that may indicate that polypharmacy is problematic
  • explain the main considerations when stopping a patient's medicines, what barriers might exist and how to overcome these
  • describe how you could use decision-making tools and strategies to support your practice when consulting with patients on multiple medicines
  • explain how you could undertake patient-centred discussions about polypharmacy with patients during a medication review or medicines use review
  • work in partnership with the patient to prioritise interventions and agree referral strategies
  • identify and apply suitable resources and tools to support you in identifying polypharmacy issues and solutions as part of your clinical judgement and experience
  • describe the process of shared decision-making and recognise its value in supporting adherence in patients taking multiple medicines
  • identify a change you could make to your practice to improve your approach to managing polypharmacy.

How to use this programme

On your computer: You can open this programme as a PDF in your web browser. We recommend that you download and save it to your computer. If you open the PDF in Adobe Reader you can type notes in the answer boxes and save them by saving the PDF.

On your tablet device: If you would like to use this programme on your tablet device you can download the PDF and open it within a free PDF reader app. We have tested this type of programme in a few apps and found that it works in the PDF Reader app on Apple devices and the Xodo PDF app on Android devices.

Learning intended for

  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Trainee pharmacists
  • CPPE registrants