Critical Care Pharmacists are essential to the safe and effective running of critical care

Pharmacists support patients and improve outcomes. They form a central part of the multi-professional team, optimising medication therapy, improving quality and safety by resolving errors and undertaking wider professional activities.

The Faculty was delighted in our tenth year to strengthen links with Critical Care Pharmacy, by launching a Pharmacist Member category. This follows very positive discussions with pharmacy leads and agreement by our Board in 2020 to make this future investment for the good of our services.

In 2014, the Faculty became the professional home of Advanced Critical Care Practitioners. This has been an enormously beneficial relationship and has seen the development of a curriculum, wider education, professional standards and senior NHS engagement. It has strengthened both the ACCP community and their national standing as well as the Faculty as it expands and develops. We look forward to undertaking similar work with the Critical Care Pharmacy community.

 I am excited by the creation of the pharmacist membership category within the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine. This mutually beneficial step formalises and strengthens an important relationship between critical care pharmacists and the Faculty. The UKCPA Critical Care Group shares the Faculty's vision of promoting education and standards, influencing and defining national policy, and through these, improving outcomes for patients and their families. On behalf of the UKCPA, I look forward to working closely with the Faculty and for our voices and insights to directly contribute to the Faculty’s strategic aims. This is an important step for clinical pharmacy as we seek to continually develop and strengthen the UK workforce required in critical care to achieve the best outcomes for our patients

Greg Barton, Chair of UK Clinical Pharmacy Association Critical Care Group

Latest News from FICMPSC

FICM Pharmacy members are encouraged to get involved with reading, sharing and creating content for FICM Critical Eye and FICM Learning. Below is the recent FICMPSC Critical Eye update from Mr Greg Barton.

A New Era for Critical Care Pharmacy - Critical Eye, Winter 2021

If you would like to produce an article for Critical Eye or FICM Learning please get in touch 

FICM Pharmacy members are encouraged to get involved with reading, sharing and creating content for FICM Learning. Below are just some of the recent releases that our FICM Pharmacist members have been involved in.

In this podcast Gareth Thomas talks to Greg Barton about the importance of the critical care pharmacist. Greg is a Critical Care Pharmacist at St Helen’s and Knowsley NHS Foundation Trust and the Chair of the UK Clinical Pharmacy Associations Critical Care Group. He has recently been made an MBE for services to pharmacy. 

Emma Taylor is an Advanced Specialist Pharmacist in Critical Care at University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust and a member of the Faculty of Intensive Care Medicine Pharmacy Sub-Committee.

Happy New Year!

We wanted to take this opportunity to introduce the Pharmacy sub-committee and give you an update on what we have been doing to represent our profession since our inaugural meeting in September and explain our plans for the future.

The Pharmacy sub-committee consist of six pharmacist members and other FICM staff.  The pharmacists are Mr Greg Barton (Chair), Dr Richard Bourne (Deputy Chair), Ms Emma Boxall, Dr Dereck Gondongwe, Ms Lorraine Moore and Ms Emma Taylor.  We are diverse in experience, geographical location and hospital size; but share common desires to see a suitably trained, motivated, and sustainable critical care workforce across the UK. Our bios are now up on the FICM website and photos will follow soon. The other members are Dr Danny Bryden (FICM Vice Dean), Mr James Goodwin (Associate Director of Faculties), Ms Natalie Bell (Board and Training Projects Manager) and Ms Susan Hall (FICM Coordinator).  We report to the Careers, Recruitment and Workforce Committee.

The group has many ideas and we will need time to take these all forward. Initially, we would like to focus on the following work streams:

Membership: Emma Taylor will be leading on this to engage more members.  You may have already seen her blog and the introduction video on the FICM website.  

Education & Training: The committee want to review the Advanced Practice Framework with a critical care focus.  The next steps would be trying to maximise the critical care educational resources to advanced practitioners, to aid professional development. Dereck and Lorraine will be leading on this. 

Credentialing: I am sure you would all agree finding a way to acknowledge our expertise and demonstrate knowledge to our peers would be immensely helpful. Emma Boxall and Greg will lead this work stream to develop a credentialing framework.

Mentoring:  We aim to develop a support network of mentors from appropriate professions and disciplines to support individual pharmacists in developing areas of identified weakness.  This will be a joint effort, and if you are willing to be a mentor (or can recommend one?) please get in touch.

Workforce: The clinical case for critical care pharmacists is clear, but financial backing can be lacking. It was agreed that data demonstrating the cost effectiveness of the critical care workforce would be immensely helpful to all members for development of staffing business cases. Richard, Greg and Emma Taylor will focus on this work stream. 

So what have we done so far?

  • We are forging links with Health Education England (HEE) to improve critical care educational resources.
  • There is now pharmacy representation on the FICM board:  A superb achievement for the profession as a whole. Congratulations to Greg!
  • Greg attended his first Faculty Board meeting to introduce the sub-committee and our plans. This was met by enthusiasm on all sides. We are sure this will be the start of a bright future.
  • The FICM Pharmacist video has been created – please help us engage more members by sharing this with your colleagues and local networks.
  • We have started reviewing the advanced practitioner framework, mentorship and credentialing options.
  • We have commented on proposed plans for ODP’s to supply and administer medicines via PGD’s.
  • We are exploring the opportunities to share ideas with the Advanced Critical Care Practitioners sub-committee, particularly relating to educational planning, competency demonstration and their curriculum.
  • The first pharmacy article will soon appear in the biannual ‘Critical Eye’ magazine

What’s in the pipeline?

We are medication experts and will continue to promote this:

  • We’re in the planning stages of a medication article for a patient safety newsletter
  • As FICM members, you already receive the British Journal of Anaesthesia. We are hoping to contribute an article to BJA Education.

We will explore options to share educational opportunities with the wider multi-professional team.

We will continue to contribute to future FICM work. We want suggestions from our members.

  • Is there anything you would like to get involved in?
  • What should we focus on to strengthen the critical care community?
  • How can we further promote patient safety?

We hope you agree with our planned direction. We want to be sure we are representing you, as FICM members, so please do contact us if you think there is an issue we should be concentrating on, or if we are not representing your interests. The important thing here is we all work together to represent critical care pharmacy. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to say Congratulations to Greg Barton for being awarded a MBE in the New Year Honours list for his services to pharmacy, particularly during covid-19.

As you all know, Greg has been a voice for our profession for many years and will be an inspiration to many. Over the last decade, he has contributed to many successful national projects, initiatives and guidance alongside other pharmacy and MDT colleagues. As the chair of the UKCPA critical care committee, he and Dr Richard Bourne lay the groundwork for pharmacy to be recognised as their own branch within FICM. On behalf of its members, the FICM pharmacy sub-committee send their heartfelt congratulations to Greg for being recognised with this honour.

Thank you for your support so far, wishing you a Happy New Year

The FICM Pharmacy Sub-Committee