More than 50 pilot sites will take part in a national trial of clinical pharmacists in accident and emergency departments.

This is part of NHS England’s urgent and emergency care review, which is exploring whether pharmacists could receive increased training to try and help ease demand on A&E.

A trial has already been done in the West Midlands and is now being rolled out nationwide.

The pilot seeks to address whether pharmacists could help manage patients in an emergency department as part of a multidisciplinary team.

Over a five week period pharmacists will work in 53 A&E departments across the country (see box, below), including at Royal United Hospitals Bath Foundation Trust, University Hospitals Birmingham FT, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust and Barts Health Trust.

The pharmacists will look at a sample of 400 patients and assess whether they could:

  • be treated by a community pharmacist;
  • by a pharmacist in an emergency department with no additional training;
  • by a pharmacist in the emergency department with advanced clinical skills training; or
  • by a medic only.

If the assessment concludes that the patient could be treated by a pharmacist with more training, the pharmacist should work with the emergency team to work out what training should be given.

The funding for the pilot will come from Health Education England. A spokeswoman for HEE was unable to confirm how much funding would be given to the participating trusts.

The pharmacists will be expected to spend an equal amount of time in triage and all emergency department areas so they have access to patients with a range of acuities.

Each pharmacist will have a consultant acting as their supervisor who will support them through the project and then evaluate their categorisations.

The project began earlier this month and will continue until next week.

Trusts with emergency departments taking part in pilot

  • Aintree University Hospital FT
  • Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust
  • Barts Health Trust
  • Bradford Teaching Hospitals FT
  • Brighton and Sussex University Hospital Trust
  • Buckinghamshire Healthcare Trust
  • Burton Hospitals Trust
  • Cambridge University Hospitals FT
  • Central Manchester University Hospitals FT
  • Chesterfield Royal Hospital FT
  • City Hospitals Sunderland FT
  • County Durham and Darlington FT
  • Croydon Health Services Trust
  • Dartford and Gravesham Hospitals Trust
  • Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals FT
  • East Cheshire Trust
  • East Kent University Hospitals FT
  • East Lancashire Hospitals Trust
  • East London FT
  • Great Western Hospitals FT
  • Heatherwood and Wexham Park Hospitals (part of Frimley Health FT)
  • Isle of Wight Trust
  • King’s College Hospital FT
  • Lancashire Teaching Hospitals FT
  • Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
  • Luton and Dunstable Hospital FT
  • Mid Essex Hospital Services Trust
  • Milton Keynes Hospital FT
  • Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals FT
  • Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital FT
  • North Bristol Trust
  • North Middlesex University Hospital Trust
  • Northampton General Hospital
  • Northumbria Healthcare FT
  • Nottingham University Hospital
  • Oxford Health FT
  • Oxford University Hospitals FT
  • Poole Hospital FT
  • Royal Derby Hospital
  • Royal Free London FT
  • Royal United Hospitals Bath FT
  • Sheffield Teaching Hospitals FT
  • South Devon Healthcare FT
  • South Tees FT
  • South Warwickshire FT
  • St George’s University Hospitals FT
  • Surrey and Sussex Hospital Healthcare Trust
  • Tameside Hospital FT
  • University Hospitals Birmingham FT
  • University Hospitals Bristol FT
  • University Hospital of South Manchester FT
  • University Hospital Southampton FT
  • Warrington and Halton Hospitals FT
  • Wirral University Teaching Hospital FT
  • Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh FT