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Title: Is there a role for workplace-based postgraduate diplomas in the development of community pharmacists?
Author: Sokhi, Jeremy
ISNI:       0000 0004 5371 4293
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2015
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Background: Community pharmacists have not fulfilled expectations for an extended role and their education and training is recognised as contributing to this. Postgraduate diplomas may provide the additional development required. These courses are predominantly distance learning based despite evidence that multifaceted approaches are more effective. Furthermore, the role of learning theory in developing or assessing pharmacist education is unclear. UEA obtained funding to provide a workplace based diploma for community pharmacists based in eastern England. The aim of this PhD was to investigate the role of this diploma in community pharmacist development. Methods: Mixed methods were used. In-depth interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of 15 diploma students in October 2011 after one year of the course. Follow-up interviews were completed one year later. Interviews were conducted in summer 2012 with four community pharmacy employer representatives. A service provision, employment and CPD survey was conducted annually with diploma students (n=39) and a comparison group (n=18). A patient satisfaction survey was conducted in the main workplace of these pharmacists at the outset of the course and repeated as it concluded. Results: Students described positive effects on their development and practice including improved confidence and inter-professional relationships. The diploma scaffolded learning and a reduction in the potential barriers to CPD was demonstrated. The opportunities for interacting with peers and other healthcare professionals were important. Workload pressures were detrimental. Employers recognised pharmacists needed development but favoured training they controlled. No significant change was seen in the provision of services or patient satisfaction. Discussion: This work contributes to understanding community pharmacists’ needs from a learning theory perspective. Professional isolation impacts negatively on the development of their practice and the social learning facilitated by the diploma appears fundamental to the positive results obtained. Whether a workplace based diploma is the best way to achieve this is unclear.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available