Strengthening the foundations of clinical pharmacology​

The restructuring and subsequent changes to staff in the latter quarter of 2023 impacted our ability to drive work to sustain the clinical pharmacology specialty forward. Despite this, the Clinical Committee led by Professor Reecha Sofat (VP Clinical) and Speciality Registrar Sub-Committee, led by Dr Elizabeth Adeyeye organised the National Clinical Pharmacology Training for Specialty Registrars. This meant that  the workforce was supported through topical monthly training sessions.

In 2023 an independent review of the Prescribing Safety Assessment (PSA) was completed. The PSA is a prescribing exam taken by final year medical students and UK Foundation Year One doctors. The independent review was commissioned jointly by Medical Schools Council and BPS and chaired by Professor Dame Jane Dacre. The purpose of the review was to understand how the assessment has impacted prescribing education and practice for candidates, and how best practice could be applied to the PSA’s governance and sustainability models. The report is a comprehensive analysis of the test, its many benefits, and areas for improvement and evolution.

Patient safety achieved through safe prescribing is of the utmost importance to the BPS. The PSA improves prescribing competence and education and in the future, as recommended, the PSA should be a summative exam taken by all final year medical students. Because this recommendation would require a shift in medical education nationally, a parallel study was undertaken to put all the exam information provided to the Dacre review into the public domain. This was published in the Society’s journal, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, in November 2023 and the study supported the Dacre recommendations. Through our work with the MSC the Society will continue to explore implementing the recommendations so that safe prescribing remains of top priority in the medical community. 


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