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Fiona Swinnerton - Pharmacist - NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

In 2011, NHS Pharmacy became interested in using PBSGL as a learning resource for pharmacists and pharmacy teams.  A number of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians trained as facilitators and four main groups were set up in Scotland.

Facilitator training was shared with arranged training days for GPs, and the programme organisers were inspired by how well GPs and pharmacists got on with each other during training, and that they were keen to learn about each other’s roles in health care.

The pharmacy project was researched and a number of participants were interviewed to gain their thoughts on PBSGL. It was clear that pharmacists were keen to learn from and with general practitioners and practice nurses. It was felt there was sufficient interest to start inter-professional PBSGL groups involving GPs, pharmacists and practice nurses.

Read about Fiona's experience...

I first became involved with PBSGL when I attended a NES course to train how to become a PBSGL facilitator. While PBSGL is a recognised learning method for GPs, it is a fairly new concept for Pharmacists. Co-incidentally, I noticed that one of the surgeries I worked in was having a PBSGL meeting and asked if I could sit in and observe. This was an established PBSGL group that had been running for a few years which involved GPs, trainee doctors and nurses. My idea of observing quietly in the background was quickly dismissed and I was rapidly pulled into the discussions!

While initially intimidated, I found the experience very useful to learn how different disciplines think in their approach to a scenario, and I left the meeting feeling motivated.

Subsequently, when NES introduced a pilot to examine multi-disciplinary PBSGL groups, I was keen to re-join the group. The PBSGL modules encourage the sharing of cases from clinical practice which allows the group to learn from each other’s experiences, and prompts comparison to best practice and current guidelines.

The participation of different health care professionals in the group offers new perspectives on patient care and promotes joined up working, and I now have a greater awareness of the input other roles could have in a patient’s care. Also, the supportive environment has given me confidence to ask ‘silly’ questions and explore gaps in my knowledge.

I have found my involvement in the group extremely gratifying, and would encourage anyone who has the opportunity to join or form one of these groups to do so.