Andrew Matthews is the General Manager of Workforce Transformation at The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia.
Andrew has been both a hospital and community pharmacist, and has worked in a number of hospitals in both Canberra and Adelaide, and community pharmacy in Adelaide, Canberra, and Wagga Wagga. Throughout 2015, he led the successful Credentialing of advanced practice pharmacists pilot program at the Australian Pharmacy Council, which awarded Australia’s first Advanced Practice Pharmacist (Adv.Prac.Pharm.) credentials. He has held executive positions at the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, directing and promoting quality assurance, accreditation and standards for the pharmacy profession. Andrew has also worked as an academic in various tertiary institutions.
Australian hospital pharmacy is at the forefront of contemporary pharmacy practice internationally. However, Australia has not followed countries like Great Britain, Singapore, Canada and the USA in introducing practice based experiential training in the form of hospital pharmacy residencies.
To ensure continued delivery of pharmaceutical care that meets the future needs of the public and of the health-system, the pharmacy workforce must adapt and transform. The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) believes that a program of workplace experiential learning in the form of hospital pharmacy residencies is a crucial professional development initiative that will help the future pharmacy workforce be ‘fit-for-purpose’.
For this reason, SHPA has committed to beginning a structured, formalised, supported and accredited national residency program for hospital pharmacists in 2017. The SHPA program will be a two-year professional development plan for pharmacists designed to develop their practice towards the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework Transition Level (Advanced- Stage 1). The program is targeted at those pharmacists in their foundation years, or pharmacists entering hospital practice from other pharmacy environments. The program will facilitate the development of a cohort of competent general level pharmacists. Progression to specialist residencies after completion of general residency will be explored in future years.
An old Chinese proverb says “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” The United States introduced residency programs 53 years ago; it’s time for an Australian program. SHPA has created the vision for a national hospital pharmacy residency program and has now planted the first seeds for this program to become a reality in 2017.