The pharmacy department within LYPFT works closely with the medical, nursing and other healthcare teams at all stages of a service users contact with mental health services. We support the organisation and our service users and carers in ensuring that medicines are used safely, appropriately and are fully optimised to improve service users’ quality of life.
We support service users and carers in making informed decisions about their medicines by providing information, education about medication, and practical support about how to take them.
We provide clinical support and medicines supply from multiple sites across Leeds. Our two dispensaries at The Becklin Centre and The Mount provide a dispensing service across our inpatient and some community services, ensuring that service users receive their medicines in a safe, timely and effective manner.
Rebecca Hayton, Pharmacy coordinator
“Having spent nearly eight years in community pharmacy, I was very apprehensive to transfer to secondary care, especially with it being specialised in mental health. However, this is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made as I can now take time with my work, and it reminds me why I came into pharmacy in the first place. This has given me the motivation to expand my knowledge and skills, which is heavily supported here.”
Mental Health Pharmacy roles
We have a wide range of Mental Health Pharmacy roles within the Trust.
Mental Health Pharmacy Technician
Mental health pharmacy technicians are key multidisciplinary team members and play a vital role in helping often vulnerable service users get the best out of their medication. They carry out medicine histories/reconciliation and support service users about compliance, understanding what their medicines are for and ensuring that accurate information is transferred efficiently to other healthcare providers. They attend multidisciplinary team meetings to learn about planned medication changes, discharges, leaves and potential new admissions. Mental health pharmacy technicians will provide specialist knowledge on high-risk mental health drugs such as clozapine and lithium. They will ensure that any monitoring required with these medicines is carried out and communicated. They are also responsible for ordering, supplying, and managing medicines within clinical areas and supporting the wider multidisciplinary team by giving advice and delivering training regarding handling medicines.
Mental Health Pharmacy Assistant
Mental health pharmacy assistants support the Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacist in ensuring that medicines are dispensed and supplied safely and efficiently. They are responsible for procuring medication into the dispensary and maintaining stock, ensuring that this is in date and fit for purpose. They also support the transfer of information to other healthcare providers and will manage queries coming into the dispensary under the support and guidance of their registered colleagues. Mental health pharmacy assistants will also provide customer service to service users attending the pharmacy hatch and will dispatch and give standard advice about medicines. They are integral in ensuring that service users receive their medicines in a timely manner.
The dispensary coordinator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day workload in the dispensary. They will help to prioritise workload and delegate tasks to the pharmacy assistant team to ensure that all work is completed promptly, safely, and effectively. They are also responsible for ensuring that all stock management checks are completed and that the stock held in the dispensaries is in date and fit for purpose.
Foundation pharmacists are recently qualified or have recently changed sectors and will be responsible for providing clinical pharmacy services to allocated inpatient wards. They will work autonomously but will always have the support of senior colleagues. FPs may have mentoring roles for pre-registration pharmacists /technicians. They may be involved in service development /E&T work under the supervision of senior colleagues and will usually be studying towards a postgraduate clinical qualification.
Specialist Clinical Pharmacist
Specialist Clinical Pharmacists are experienced clinical pharmacists responsible for providing clinical pharmacy services to allocated clinical teams. They will also be involved in service development work with support from advanced clinical pharmacists and in education and training. E&T roles may include acting as pre-registration or diploma tutor. Clinical Pharmacists will usually have completed or be working towards a postgraduate clinical pharmacy qualification.
Advanced Clinical Pharmacist
Advanced Clinical Pharmacists (ACPs) are senior, experienced clinical pharmacists with line management responsibilities and responsibility for overseeing pharmacy services in a defined area. They will also have allocated clinical teams (inpatient and/or community) to whom they will provide a clinical pharmacy service. ACPs are actively involved in service development work, education and training, have usually completed a postgraduate clinical pharmacy qualification, and may also work towards an independent prescribing qualification.
Pharmacy Career Path
Training and Development Opportunities
Pharmacy assistant apprenticeship:
- NVQ level 2
- 12-15 months
- On the job training
- Entry requirements – Functional skills in maths and English
Pre-registration pharmacy technician:
- BTEC/NVQ level 3
- Two years
- On the job training
- Entry requirements – 5 GCSES A-C/4-9
Post-registration technician opportunities:
- Band 4-5 development framework
- College Mental Health Pharmacy Psychiatry
- 1 Course
- BTEC level 4
- Edward Jenner management course
Foundation Pharmacist opportunities:
- Band 6-7 framework inline with the RPS Foundation Pharmacists framework
- Mental Health Therapeutics PgCert
- Clinical Pharmacy (PgDip)
Entry Requirements – Master or Bachelor’s Degree in Pharmacy and member of the General Pharmaceutical Council
Specialist Clinical Pharmacist opportunities:
- Support in working towards an Advanced Clinical Framework
- Non-medical prescribing qualification