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AMR Q4 2021

Increasing pharmacists’ leadership skills through antimicrobial stewardship

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Dr Diane Ashiru-Oredope

Global AMR Lead, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association

Victoria Rutter

Executive Director, Commonwealth Pharmacists Association

Leadership is a key skill required of pharmacists across all sectors of care and in tackling AMR, highlighting the critical role that pharmacy leadership can have on effective antimicrobial stewardship (AMS).

Leadership development and AMS feature as two of the 21 development goals of the International Pharmaceutical Federation. In addition, frameworks to support leadership development for pharmacists are available in the UK. However, there are few opportunities available for pharmacists to develop and demonstrate these skills. It has previously been reported that NHS staff participating in international health projects develop leadership skills essential for influencing change and developing new ways of working. 

The Commonwealth Partnerships for Antimicrobial Stewardship (CwPAMS) programme* was first of its kind to mandate that pharmacists be included as essential members of each international partnership, in both UK and African teams.

Leadership is a key skill required of pharmacists across all sectors of care and in tackling AMR.

Developing leadership skills through global health fellowship 

The Chief Pharmaceutical Officers Global Health (CPhOGH) Fellowship was developed by Commonwealth Pharmacists Association (CPA) and Health Education England for UK pharmacists who were part of CwPAMS [1]. Post fellowship year, all Fellows indicated that the skills and knowledge gained during the year were useful and applicable to their positions in the UK; 7/16 reported a change in job role, five received promotion and 10 started managing new aspects of services since commencing on their global health and fellowship year.

A scoping report led by CPA, based on 484 survey responses and focus groups of 40 members across eight African countries, reinforced the need for a similar AMS leadership programme for pharmacists in Africa. 

Bi-directional learning was also a key component of CwPAMS. When the UK became a resource-limited setting for alcohol hand rub at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK team were able to locally produce WHO-formula alcohol hand rub after learning from colleagues in Zambia.

CwPAMS managed by CPA and THET is funded by UK aid Fleming Fund.

[1] Brandish, C.; Garraghan, F.; Ng, B.Y.; Russell-Hobbs, K.; Olaoye, O.; Ashiru-Oredope, D. Assessing the Impact of a Global Health Fellowship on Pharmacists’ Leadership Skills and Consideration of Benefits to the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom. Healthcare 2021, 9, 890.

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