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PA40333: Medicines optimisation and prescribing in complex patients 2

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
Credits: 24 [equivalent to 48 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 480
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 2
Assessment Summary: CW 35%, EX 65%
Assessment Detail:
  • Quality Improvement Project (CW 25% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Substance misuse and service development assignments (CW 10% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Virtual ward clinical exam (EX 25% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Examination (EX 40% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Requisites: While taking this module you must take PA40330 AND ( take PA40331 OR take PA40332 ) AND take PA40334
Description: Aims:
The aim of this unit is to further develop the medicines optimisation and prescribing skills of students. They should be able to apply the principles from the specialised integrated units and the medicines optimisation and prescribing unit 1 and integrate these with clinical teaching in practice with patients. The unit is supported by a science theme on advanced drug discovery and development and a management and leadership theme on quality improvement science.

Learning Outcomes:
After successfully completing this unit, the student pharmacist will be able to:
1. Demonstrate the ability to relate aspects of prior knowledge from years 1 to 3 to the developing skills of application of pharmaco-therapeutic knowledge to the complex patient
2. Further develop and demonstrate the consultation skills necessary to interview a patient; elicit information from several healthcare sources and prepare a care plan in collaboration with the patient and the prescriber
3. Acknowledge the limits of their knowledge, and be aware of when to refer cases on to other members of the multi-professional team as appropriate
4. Demonstrate the qualities and transferable skills necessary for practising as a pharmacist including the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex situations and maintaining their continuing professional development
5. Identify and solve complex patient care problems by describing the causes and be able to defend and critically justify the selected solutions chosen to peers and members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team
6. Critically evaluate current treatment guidelines and be able to develop, design and manage a plan for medicines optimisation for an individual patient with complex needs
7. Demonstrate the advanced skills and attitudes needed to provide holistic patient care in clinical pharmacy, to help patients to maximise the potential benefit of their medicines, while minimising the risk of harm
8. Demonstrate an understanding of ethical and legal dilemmas that will be encountered in managing complex patients and be able to respond appropriately
9. Critically evaluate current drug policy in the context of individual, public health and community welfare outcomes
10. Demonstrate an understanding of the need to deliver cost-effective use of medicines
11. Recognise and describe the roles of all healthcare providers (for example, Homecare for IV, Healthcare at home, when transferring between sectors) responsible for the health of the individual patient and the delivery of patient services
12. Use the appropriate approaches from quality improvement science and design an intervention based on contemporary methodologies suitable for use in practice to improve patient safety
13. Describe the range of approaches used to design and deliver biological therapies and apply the principles of evidence based medicine to the introduction of new agents in clinical use

Study skills, handling information, working with others (T/F)
Problem solving (T/F/A)
Study skills (T/F/A)
Handling information (T/F/A)
Written communication (T/F/A)
Information & communication technology (ICT) (T/F/A)

Lecture Series - expert pharmacists / clinicians, expert patients
Workshop Series - Complex patient cases presented in a "Virtual Ward" environment
Practice Based Learning - 1 week in practice to include 3 days of patient care plan development and 2 days of quality improvement / patient safety work
Indicative Content will include:
Medicines Optimisation in complex patients to include:
* Long Term Conditions and the role of the pharmacist
* Common multi-morbid and co-morbid states
* Complex and innovative drug design and delivery to include:
- Insulin pumps, PD apo-go
- PICC / Central lines
- PEG / RIG tubes
* Current scientific advances in (bio))medicines design and delivery
- Anti-cancer and anti-viral vaccines
- Cell based therapies, including immune system modulation
- Tissue engineering and regenerative medicine
- Genome editing (e.g. CRISPR)
* Complex administration of medicines to include:
- Route conversion calculations (e.g. in dysphagia)
--- Oral to IV or SC
--- Oral to topical
--- Solid dose to liquid dose etc.
- Ethics / licensing issues etc. of changing manufacturers formulation
- Difficult communications - with dysphagia patients Complex delivery of patient care to include:
- Care Homes
- Homecare patients (Biologics, TPN, CAPD, IV at home (often long course of antibiotics))
- Secure Environments
* Patient Safety in Practice ( to include: SUIs, Never Events, RED, Missed doses)
* Capacity / DoLS
- Dementia patients and medicines adherence
- Falls risk management
- Intentional non-adherence
* Quality Improvement Science
- National / Local level - CQUINS, QUIPP etc.
- Tools - IHI methodology etc.
* Complex ethical cases
- OTC supply of EHC (adult) - ethics of RAPE etc.
* Substance Misuse
- History of prohibition
- Current UK drug policy
- Neuro-pharmacological basis of addiction
- Pharmacological treatment of addiction
- Harm reduction theory
- Pharmacotherapies for opiate dependence
- Alcohol dependence
- Drugs in sport
- Psychosocial interventions
- Specialist pharmacy services in drug treatment, including prison pharmacy.

Programme availability:

PA40333 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Pharmacy & Pharmacology
  • USPA-AFM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy (Year 4)
  • USPA-AKM03 : MPharm(Hons) Pharmacy with integrated pre-registration year (Year 4)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.