Research capability and aspirations of antimicrobial pharmacists: survey of UKCPA pin membership




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Oxford Academic



Peer reviewed



Introduction The United Kingdom Clinical Pharmacist Association Pharmacy Infection Network (UKCPA PIN) is the community of pharmacy professionals with an interest or specialism in infection management. As we come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important for the leadership of UKCPA PIN to understand the current need and wishes of the community.

Aim This study aimed to explore infection specialist pharmacy professionals about their research activity, experience, and perceived barriers to greater research activity.

Methods An online, anonymised survey, consisting of closed and free-type open questions, was circulated to UKCPA PIN members for completion in September and October 2021 using the Google Forms platform. The questionnaire was developed and piloted amongst members of UKCPA PIN committee to identify current research activity and barriers. Responses were downloaded and underwent descriptive analysis with Microsoft Excel. This work was deemed a service evaluation and therefore did not require ethics approval.

Results There were 38 responses were received from pharmacists in all 7 NHS England regions, Scotland, and Wales (6% of UKCPA PIN forum members). Pharmacy technicians were invited to participate but none did so. 13 (34%) described themselves as being actively involved in research, 13 (34%) described themselves as having done research in the past, 8 (21%) described themselves as not having the opportunity to develop research capabilities. 27 (71%) respondents had completed a postgraduate diploma, 8 (21%) had completed MSc or equivalent, 6 (16%) had completed a PhD or equivalent, 11 (29%) were Good Clinical Practice accredited and 10 (26%) had undertaken local research training. 6 (16%) were consultant pharmacists or accredited by the Royal Pharmaceutical Society as being consultant-ready, 10 (27%) were building a consultant portfolio and 15 (39%) were aspiring to build a consultant portfolio in the future. Of the 28% that were building a consultant portfolio, 6 were confident that they were already meeting the research outcomes and 4 were not. Antimicrobial pharmacists were most frequently wanting to undertake research in the areas of antimicrobial stewardship (11, 29%), antifungal stewardship (5, 13%) and allergies/penicillin delabelling (5, 13%). The greatest barriers identified were lack of time/funding (27, 71% agreed significant barrier), lack of funding for costs of undertaking research (17, 45%), lack of support with research methods (9, 24%) and lack of support with dissemination of research (9, 24%). A number of potential support options were proposed to respondents, with “Signposting resources to help you write research protocols” and “A repository of in progress antimicrobial research in the UK” being the most popular (19 and 17 respondents, respectively, described as very useful).

Discussion/Conclusion There is a significant interest in research amongst antimicrobial pharmacists and scope for enhancing the contribution of pharmacists to research around antimicrobials and infectious disease. A limitation of this study was the small sample size; however, the themes provide important information for UKCPA PIN to provide support for its members.



Antimicrobial, Antibiotic, Research, Development, Pharmacists


Frost, K.J., Hamilton, R.A., Yau, T. and Urch, J. (2022) Research capability and aspirations of antimicrobial pharmacists: survey of UKCPA pin membership. International Journal of Pharmacy Practice, 30, Issue Supplement_2, pp. ii20–ii21


Research Institute

Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)