Aim In 2018 the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) made it mandatory for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in the UK to conduct a peer discussion as part of their annual revalidation assessment. The criteria from the GPhC states that a practitioner must record why a peer was chosen, how the process of peer discussion has benefited their practice and how the process of peer discussion has benefited the people using their services.1 The GPhC describes several examples of who can act as a peer; for example a line manager, colleague or other healthcare professional. However, there is no specific format for the discussion, but it may include personal development plans, recent successes or challenges to the individual, medication related incidents or quality improvement work. Case based discussion (CBD) is a tool used for peer discussions, primarily in medical training. They are used to assess a clinician’s knowledge of a condition, the potential management options available to them and decision making abilities. It allows a clinician to objectively reflect on their own practice,2 and allow for abstract conceptualisation. This is a vital process that links learning to practice, as described by Kolb’s experiential learning theory.3
The aim of this project was to assess whether a case based discussion between two experienced paediatric pharmacists will fulfil the GPhC requirements for revalidation.
Methods Two experienced paediatric pharmacists participated in this study. Each took the turn as the subject and the peer. As part of the pre-discussion phase and with agreement from senior management, a job swap was arranged for two weeks to allow each pharmacist to gain an understanding of the demands of their colleague. At the end of this period, the two CBDs were conducted using cases selected from the 2 week period.
Results The two pharmacists selected were practicing in neonatal intensive care and paediatric intensive care. Each CBD lasted approximately one hour and both were conducted in the clinical environment. Using this format provided discussion around a variety of elements of paediatric pharmacy practice; such as clinical assessment skills, interpreting evidence and applying guidelines to practice, identifying knowledge gaps and exploring medication safety issues. The result of each CBD was that each pharmacist was able to successfully complete a peer discussion record that complied with the GPhC criteria.
Conclusion This abstract has highlighted that peer discussion has the potential as a powerful tool for ensuring quality and improvement in paediatric pharmacy practice. This is especially applicable to specialist practice. The Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacist Group is a potential peer network for facilitating collaborations between paediatric pharmacists. The lack of specific framework is an opportunity for future development.
General Pharmaceutical Council. Revalidation Framework. London: General Pharmaceutical Council; 2018.
Emsden S, Thomson A. Getting the best out of case-based discussions. Paediatrics and Child Health 2010;20:585–588.
Kolb DA. Experiential learning: Experience as the source of learning and development. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall; 1984.
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