The multiple formally announced the role last month, to recognise pharmacists who deliver “enhanced clinical care” in the community. See more on the role below.
The role reflects that Boots pharmacists want “a pathway for clinical pharmacy and community pharmacy”, Richard Bradley told C+D in an exclusive interview the week after the announcement.
Mr Bradley contrasted the new role with the traditional career pathway he himself had taken in Boots, which “was pharmacist, to store manager, to position in leadership”.
“As the role of the pharmacist evolves, and pharmacists want a clinical career, it was right to say: 'How do we enable that career pathway and recognise that some of our people are now doing [roles that] fundamentally didn’t exist five years ago?'”
While being a community pharmacist is “itself a great role”, the specialist practitioner is “fundamentally different”, Mr Bradley stressed.
“We want some [pharmacists] to think: Actually, if I develop myself like this, I’ve got different places...to go in my career.”
The specialist practitioner role came from “recognising the people that are doing it today”, as well as “clearly indicating to people how we see the role of the pharmacist evolving and the career opportunities we’ll see in the future”.
“It gets to the point where we’ve got some people doing this – and we can see a lot more doing this in future,” he added.
What is a Boots clinical specialist practitioner?
The role will be handed to pharmacists who “combine the highest level of clinical competence, with a drive to innovate at pharmacy level”, says Boots, which has given the example of pharmacists working at the “cutting edge of pharmacy”, from “pioneering research to having an outstanding clinical impact” in the community
Boots pharmacists who have been qualified for at least 18 months can apply for the role, and an independent prescribing qualification is preferred
Applicants must have identified a business sponsor – someone who works in an area specific to their work
Pharmacists will be in the role for a set period of time – determined by a newly created specialist practitioner review panel – and will be on an “enhanced salary scale”
Six Boots pharmacists have already been recruited to the role, and the multiple told C+D it plans to recruit 250 over the “next few years”.