The values of the healthcare sector are fairly ubiquitous across the globe, focusing on caring and respect, patient health, excellence in care delivery, and multi-stakeholder collaboration. Many individual pharmacists embrace these core values. But their ability to honor these values is significantly determined by the nature of the system they work in.
The paper starts with a model of the prevailing pharmacist workforce model in Scotland, in which core roles are predominantly separated into hierarchically disaggregated jobs focused on one professional ‘pillar’: Clinician /Practice Provider; Educator; Leader/Manager; and Researcher. This is the ‘Atomistic’ Model. This skills-segregation yields a workforce of individuals working in isolation rather than collaborating together, and lacking a shared information flow, purpose and identity. Key strategic flaws include suboptimal responsiveness to population and subpopulation needs, inconsistency and inequity of care, an erosion of professional agency, and lower job satisfaction. It is conjectured that this results from a lack of congruence between values, professional ethos, and organizational structure. ‘Atomism’ culminates in a syndrome of widespread professional-level cognitive dissonance.
The paper contrasts this with a new emerging workforce vision, The Collaborative Care Model. This new model defines a systems-first-approach, built on the principle that all jobs must include all four professional ‘pillars’. Vertical skills integration, involving education and task sharing, will support sustainability and succession planning. Horizontal skills integration (across practice, leadership and research) is included to improve responsiveness to population need and individual professional agency. The working conditions, supportive ethos, and career structure needed to make the model work are described. Moral theory and workforce theory are used to justify why the model may be more effective for population health, delivering greater job satisfaction for individuals and ultimately helping systematically realize and honor healthcare values. Finally, the paper sketches the first steps needed to implement the model at the national level, starting with the operationalization of new multi-pillar professional curricula across the career spectrum. Potential pitfalls and challenges are also discussed.
1. Paul Forsyth (PF) Lead Pharmacist Clinical Cardiology, Pharmacy, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model Curation; Model Theory; Model Visualization; Writing - original draft (lead author), Writing - review & editing (lead author)
2. Andrew Radley (AR), Consultant in Public Health Pharmacy, NHS Tayside. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model curation; Model Theory; Writing - review & editing
3. Gordon Rushworth (GR), MPharm MSc FFRPS FRPharmS (Consultant). Programme Director, Highland Pharmacy Education & Research Centre, NHS Highland, Inverness. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing
4. Fiona Marra (FM) National Lead Clinician Scottish Infection and Immunology Network (SPAIIN) / Advanced Pharmacist HCV / HIV, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing
5. Susan Roberts (SR) Associate Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean, NHS Education for Scotland. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing
6. Roisin O’Hare (RO) Lead Teacher Practitioner Pharmacist, Northern Ireland University Network, Southern Health and Social Care Trust. Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing
7. Catherine Duggan (CD) Chief Executive Officer, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP). Contribution: Model curation; Writing - review & editing
8. Barry Maguire (BM) Senior Lecturer, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Life Sciences, The University of Edinburgh. Contribution: Conceptualization; Model Curation; Model Theory; Model Visualization; Supervision; Writing - original draft (senior academic supervisor), Writing - review & editing (senior academic supervisor)