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(NIHR) Towards the development of a conceptual framework for specialist mental health pharmacy practice in primary care

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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  Dr Richard Keers, Prof E Schafheutle  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

To address widening health inequalities and medicines optimisation and safety for populations with mental illness, NHS organisations and Health Education England (HEE) have committed to training hundreds of specialist mental health pharmacists to work in multidisciplinary teams in primary care by 2024.[1] Whilst evidence supporting the introduction of generalist clinical pharmacist staff working in primary care is increasing,[2-5] little is known about the roles played by specialist mental health pharmacists in these settings, the services they provide or their impact. This hampers planning and makes their organisation, integration and resourcing difficult.

This PhD aims to develop a conceptual framework for specialist mental health pharmacy practice in primary care by generating evidence of current service delivery models, their implementation and impact. To achieve this, a mixed methods approach will be taken initially involving synthesis of existing evidence of current roles, services and impact from the literature and mental health organisations nationally. The PhD will then use this evidence to co-develop, with key professional and patient stakeholders, a conceptual framework for specialist mental health pharmacy practice in primary care that may be used to guide and optimise future service implementation and delivery in different contexts.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have obtained at least an Upper Second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a discipline relevant to primary care research.

A master's degree with relevant training in research methods is desirable but not essential; equivalent research experience will be considered.

Applicants interested in this project should make direct contact with the Primary Supervisor to arrange to discuss the project further as soon as possible.

Please select 'Primary Care and Health Services Research' under academic programme when completing your online application. 

How To Apply

To be considered for this Studentship you MUST submit a formal online application form - full details on how to apply can be found on https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website https://www.bmh.manchester.ac.uk/study/research/apply/equality-diversity-inclusion/

Funding Notes

Studentship funding is for a duration of 3 years to commence in September 2022 and covers UKRI equivalent fees and stipend (£16,062 per annum 22/23)
Funding will cover UK tuition fees and stipend only. The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK. We are able to offer a scholarship that will enable a full studentship to be awarded to international applicants. This full studentship will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates, due to the competitive nature of this funding.


1. Health Education England. Our work: Pharmacy (Mental Health). [Webpage]. Available from: https://www.hee.nhs.uk/our-work/pharmacy/mental-health?msclkid=cbe5f89bcf0f11eca77d2a7ca3bf0034 [Accessed 8th May 2022].
2. Seston EM, Schafheutle EI, Willis S. “A little bit more looking…listening and feeling” A qualitative interview study exploring advanced clinical practice in primary care and community pharmacy. International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy 2021: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11096-021-01353-9
3. Jeffries M, Keers RN, Phipps DL, Williams R, Brown B, Avery AJ, Peek N, Ashcroft DM. Developing a learning health system: insights from a qualitative process evaluation of a pharmacist-led electronic audit and feedback intervention to improve medication safety in primary care. PLoS One 2018;13(10):e0206233. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205419
4. Hindi A, Willis SC, Schafheutle EI. Cross-sector pre-registration trainee pharmacist placements in general practice across England: A qualitative study exploring the views of pre-registration trainees and education supervisors. Health and Social Care in the Community. 2022. http://doi.org/10.1111/hsc.13783
5. Hayhoe B, Cespedes JA, Foley K, Majeed A, Ruzangi J, Greenfield G. Impact of integrating pharmacists into primary care teams on health systems indicators: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice 2019;69(687):e665-74. doi: 10.3399/bjgp19X705461
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