Chief II Pharmacists currently operate in a variety of roles including clinical specialities, service managers and heads of departments. The role varies considerably between and within hospitals; often these posts have grown organically out of the 1978 job description, and the roles currently undertaken are far more complex and nuanced than when they were first established.
For example an Aseptics Chief II is tasked with managing an Aseptic Unit, which in itself carries considerable responsibility, but they may also have responsibility for clinical trials, cancer clinical services, cancer drug procurement and reimbursement, protocol development and electronic prescribing.
Medication Safety Pharmacists are tasked with managing their hospitals medication safety programmes but are usually involved in much broader aspects of medicines management, and are often expected to operate at a Regional and National level.
The Hospital Pharmacy Review will better define the role of Pharmacists working at Chief II level. It will establish Pharmacy Service Managers in areas such as Dispensary, Aseptics and Clinical Services; these posts will provide appropriate recognition for the considerable responsibility associated with these roles.
The establishment of the Deputy Director of Hospital Pharmacy post will allow Pharmacy Service Managers to focus their attention on the operational needs of their service rather than being pulled to cover administrative and management functions outside their remits. Chief II Pharmacists have been expected to operate in an ever expanding and complex health service without any progression in their job description or definition of their responsibilities.
The Hospital Pharmacy Review must be implemented so Chief II pharmacists receive the due recognition they deserve and are given the operational freedom they need to manage their service with the patient as their primary focus.