Hospital Pharmacy Specialisation

Hospital pharmacists are the key stakeholders responsible for medication management and safety in the hospital environment, covering both in- and out-patient services and supporting the seamless transition of care for patients moving within the healthcare system. To provide the best treatment for all patients, hospital pharmacists must be able to operate in a complex hospital setting and work collaboratively within multi-disciplinary healthcare teams.

To prepare the hospital pharmacy profession for the future, the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) adopted the European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy in 2014. They express commonly agreed objectives that every European health system should aim for in the delivery of hospital pharmacy services. To further enhance the quality, safety and equity of access to patient care in every European country, EAHP additionally created the Common Training Framework (CTF) project for hospital pharmacy education in Europe. This project not only fosters the further development of hospital pharmacy practice but also seeks to guarantee the access of European citizens to the highest available standard of care and the freedom of movement of the hospital pharmacy profession which is currently not accessible to all.

In June 2021, EAHP's General Assembly adopted a Position Paper on Hospital Pharmacy Specialisation. The position centres around advancing the profession by harmonising the recognition of hospital pharmacy education, enhancing the role of the hospital pharmacist and preparing the profession for future challenges.

To make a difference in medication by advancing the hospital pharmacy profession, EAHP

  • calls on the European Commission and the Member States to assist the Association in setting up a CTF through the adoption of a delegated act;
  • touches on the need for Member States to recognise the changing role of the hospital pharmacists and further foster their implementation; and,
  • underlines the importance to further promote the uptake of such cross-sector tools inter-sector communication, coordination and multi-disciplinary collaboration in all healthcare facilities should be strengthened.

To adequately address future challenges linked to the ageing society, changing healthcare needs and other unknown factors, like future pandemics, EAHP urges that Member States invest in better workforce planning for the hospital pharmacy profession, including the availability of hospital pharmacy services for all patients of each hospital.

Read EAHP's Position Paper on Hospital Pharmacy Specialisation HERE

Common Training Framework Project

To achieve this goal, EAHP and its 35 national member associations, are leading a project to develop a Common Training Framework (CTF) for hospital pharmacy in Europe.

A CTF for hospital pharmacy will represent an important international agreement on the competencies, knowledge, skills and attitudes required by the profession to deliver on the 44 European Statements of Hospital Pharmacy.

Thereafter, it is intended that the CTF will be initially used as a flexible tool for hospital pharmacy development across Europe, fully reflecting national and regional realities. This includes being:

  • an inspiration for the development of competency-based education and training programmes for hospital pharmacy, especially in those countries where formal structures of this kind may be under consideration.
  • an opportunity for cross-border cooperation in the provision of hospital pharmacy education and training.
  • a European benchmark to which existing national programmes of hospital pharmacy education and training can be compared.
  • a reference tool for those with responsibility for the provision of workplace based systems of training and development.

In the longer term, it is hoped that ongoing and enhanced agreement between countries on the competencies required for practice of hospital pharmacy may present new opportunities for labour mobility.

A range of further information about the CTF Project is available HERE.

Labour Mobility Report

To support the CTF project, Working Group 2 was tasked with "the compilation of supporting evidence of the value that can be created in forming a common training framework for hospital pharmacy". The members of this group created and launched the Labour Mobility Survey that ran from September 2015 to April 2016.

The Labour Mobility Survey Report includes the findings of this survey activity on the attitudes and perspectives of hospital pharmacists on labour mobility by the EAHP. The results collected from the 1039 participating hospital, clinical and community pharmacists in this document are descriptive and represent a snapshot of the current position. Nonetheless, they show that hospital pharmacists have an appetite for labour mobility which is currently not realised due to recognition barriers.

Overall, 85% of hospital pharmacists and heads of hospital pharmacy that participated in the survey would support the creation of a common training framework for the hospital pharmacy specialisation. Development of the profession, facilitation of exchange of expertise , standardisation in the quality of education and increase of mobility opportunities are in their opinion benefits to be gained by creating a new tool for automatic recognition of the hospital pharmacy specialisation across border. EAHP believes there is a clear benefit to health systems and patients by increasing and improving the exchange of information and expertise.

The labour mobility report is available HERE.


Last update: 14 June 2021