How do I improve or maintain my performance?

Having worked through a self-assessment of competence against the practice standards for consultation skills you will have identified your strengths, as well as areas in which you need to develop your skills further. Everyone learns differently, and with that in mind, we have recommended a set of learning steps to help you achieve your development goal. By using one style of learning, or a blend of learning methods, you can access the support you need to suit your individual requirements. Some of the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed for effective patient-centred consultations may be new to you, while some of you may feel more confident in these areas, but perhaps you want to enhance your practice, or would welcome reassurance that you do these tasks well.

The core learning we recommend includes self-study, which helps you to gain the necessary knowledge and skills, supported by attendance at a face-to-face learning event to help you apply your knowledge and skills to practice and to develop the behaviours needed to carry out an effective patient-centred consultation.

By working through each of the core learning programmes you should be able to achieve a good understanding of how using consultation models can help support your practice, and how you can use the MRCF as a reflection tool in order to establish what good practice is, as well as practice that could be improved. It will also give you an awareness of the benefits of using health coaching techniques, and how you can go on to facilitate change through motivational interviewing.

Once your core learning is complete, you can continue to extend and advance your practice skills, to develop the confidence and experience to share your knowledge and expertise with others.

Suggested core learning

You can involve the rest of your team by supporting them to work through the resource aimed at improving the communication and consultation skills of pharmacy support staff. The resource is a set of cards which provide flexible learning for a number of different topics, for example, First impressions or Patient-centred care. Each card has key learning points, activities and top tips on both the front and back. Some of these activities point to short video clips, which provide an opportunity to observe and critique the skills and behaviours of the pharmacy assistants in the videos. While other activities direct you to short interactive challenges on the new consultation skills floor of the™

Optional and additional learning

A Model for Consultation has been developed by Susan Allen, Leicester School of Pharmacy. The model can be applied to any interaction between pharmacist and patient, but is most relevant to a pharmacist supporting and enabling self-care for both prescribed and over-the-counter medicines. The model is currently used by the Leicester School of Pharmacy and aims to apply a patient-centred approach to the consultation by focusing on the patient as an individual.

Click here to look at other learning options. Also look out for multidisciplinary learning opportunities and remember, your employer may offer learning opportunities – take a look at the Employers and trainers section of this website to find out more.