What is the Hospital Pharmacy Review?
The Hospital Pharmacy Review (sometimes known as the Career Structure Review) was published in November 2011. The review aimed to create a structure for Hospital Pharmacy to best facilitate a consistent delivery of pharmacy services in line with best practice and recognised international standards. The current structures and grades, Basic, Senior, Chief II and Chief I were implemented in 1978 and in no way reflect the current complexity and specialist knowledge that is required to manage medicines in a modern hospital. In 1986 the HPAI notified Health Service Management of the need to conduct a new review in order to match changes in practice in European countries and further abroad.
The Review itself suffered much delay. In 1990 the PSI launched their “Commission of Inquiry into Pharmacy” which recommended a career structure overhaul. Unfortunately there was no restructuring after this report, however the 1990’s saw Hospital Pharmacists introduce specialisations that had a profoundly positive effect on patient safety and cost effectiveness. These specialisations included clinical pharmacy and aseptic compounding. In the next decade, specialisations were extended to include medication safety pharmacists and antimicrobial pharmacists. In the last decade, IT developments, cluster pharmacy services and automation projects, although isolated, emerged within hospital pharmacy and pointed to the next generation of creative developments.
A second review of structures within hospital pharmacy was approved by the Department of Health and Children in 2001. In 2005, the Department of Finance agreed to the finalisation of outstanding
reviews, such as that of hospital pharmacists, where service improvements were involved. Further delays were however incurred due to the establishment of the Health Service Executive (HSE) on January 1st 2005 and the commencement of the Pharmacy Act on the 22nd May 2007. In late 2009, Dr. Ambrose McLoughlin was appointed as Chair of the Review of Hospital Pharmacy.
In December 2011 the Hospital Pharmacy Review was signed off by the HSE and the HPAI and the expectation was that the Review would then proceed to implementation. However, despite the repeated efforts of the HPAI negotiation team, not a single aspect of the Review has yet been implemented.