Competencies required for general practice clinical pharmacists providing the Scottish pharmacotherapy service: a modified eDelphi study

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Due to work load pressures in primary care, increasing efforts are being made internationally to implement pharmacists working alongside general practitioners. While there is wide interest in the contributions pharmacists can make within primary care, there is limited research which explores the competencies pharmacists need to safely and effectively provide care in this arena. Therefore, a modified eDelphi study was conducted between July 2019 and January 2020 among pharmacists working in General Practice in Scotland in order to a) generate a list of competencies required to undertake pharmacotherapy tasks within General Practice using content analysis; and b) establish consensus regarding the importance of these competencies using a rating scale ranging from 1 (“not important”) to 10 (“very important”). A framework of competencies was developed, containing eight competency categories with a total of 31 individual competency items. Overall, study participants considered all eight competency categories as being important, with a mode of 10 and a median > 8; agreement among participants was high, with the majority of individual competency items rated 8 or above by more than 75% of participants. There was, however, variation in responses with regards to specific tasks such as medicines reconciliation and medication compliance reviews. Findings indicate that the GP setting requires a broad set of competencies – covering areas including the use of IT systems; clinical knowledge; and communicating with patients and other health care professionals. This implies that further emphasis on clinical and consultation skills should be added to training programmes aimed at GP pharmacists; furthermore, ongoing support is also needed with regards to generic skills such as the use of IT systems, documentation, and general procedures and processes within primary care, some of which might need to be tailored to the specific practice context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e328-e337
Number of pages23
JournalHealth and Social Care in the Community
Issue number6
Early online date23 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2021


  • Scotland
  • pharmacist
  • general practice
  • modified eDelphi
  • consensus
  • competencies


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