Lead Pharmacist - Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory (AU)
AUD$100,462 - $108,140
12 Sep 2018
19 Sep 2018
Req ID: 01EZF
Pharmacy sector
Job Type
Specialist area
Public health


Lead Pharmacist – Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol and Drug, Pharmacy Services, Clinical Support Services | Canberra Hospital and Health Services | Permanent, full-time

Classification:    Health Professional Officer 4

Salary:                $100,462 – $108,140

Position No:      P23019

Directorate:       ACT Health

Closing date: 19th September 2018

Contact person: Stuart Margison stuart.margison@act.gov.au

Approved Duty Statement Date:  30 July 2018            Initials:  GS                                                         

About us

ACT Health is a values-led Directorate. Our values guide our day-to-day actions, behaviours, decisions and communications to successfully deliver the best services to meet the needs of our community. They were developed by us, for us and are unique to our work.

ACT Health is committed to the delivery of person and family centred, safe and high quality care in a sustainable health system. This will be achieved with key strategic priorities for CHHS which includes ensuring the delivery of ACT Health’s Quality Strategy and government priorities, and aligning them with ACT Health’s Territory Wide Services Framework.

Canberra Hospital & Health Services provides acute, sub-acute, primary and community-based health services to the ACT and surrounding region.

The key strategic priority for acute services is to deliver timely access to effective and safe hospital care services. The hospital delivers a full range of medical, surgical and obstetric services, including complex procedures in areas such as cardiac surgery, neurosurgery and neonatal intensive care.

Strong links exist between hospital and community-based services, as many of the operational divisions deliver services across the continuum of care to ensure continuity of care for patients. The community based services of ACT Health include early childhood, youth and women’s health; dental services, rehabilitation and community care; mental health and alcohol and drug services. In addition, justice health services are provided within the Territory’s’ detention facilities.

ACT Health is a partner in teaching with the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and the Australian Catholic University.

The Clinical Support Services (CSS) division provides support services across the clinical divisions within Canberra Hospital and Healthcare Services. CSS encompasses a mix of disciplines, including:

  • Pharmacy.
  • Biomedical Engineering.
  • Acute Support Services
  • Medical Physics and Radiation Engineering.
  • Nursing Operational Support

Overview of the work area and position

The Canberra Hospital and Health Services (CHHS) Pharmacy Department have a dynamic, talented team of approximately 100 staff, including: pharmacists, technicians and administration staff. The department provides a range of clinical services to inpatients and outpatients including a number of specialised services. 

The pharmacy team charter is “Our competent and professional team will provide a contemporary and forward thinking pharmacy service that gives the best patient focused care possible and is valued by the ACT health community”

Under the broad direction of the Deputy Director of Pharmacy (Clinical), the Lead Pharmacist for Mental Health, Justice Health and Drug and Alcohol Services (MHJHADS) will work closely with a team of dedicated and skilled technicians and pharmacists to deliver a safe, efficacious and patient centred service. The responsibility of this position is to provide leadership, management, and coordination of the clinical pharmacy services to MHJHADS. This position will also include advanced clinical, education, research and quality improvement roles.

The position holder will also integrate into the CHHS Pharmacy team and will provide a range of pharmacy services on weekends, after hours and public holidays as rostered, including on call.


  1. Lead and coordinate the provision of the clinical pharmacy service to the MHJHADS specialty areas, promoting safe, efficacious, and economical use of medicines, ensuring relevant drug budgets are monitored and managed.
  2. Provide advanced level clinical pharmacy services to the mental health, justice health and alcohol and drug specialty areas whilst maintaining clinical pharmacy skills in other areas. This includes providing a clinical service to offsite mental health and detention facilities.
  3. Provide professional supervision, ongoing professional development and personal performance review, to managed staff and provide education, training and mentorship to new and current pharmacy staff and all other relevant groups including (but not limited to) medical staff, nursing staff, supervision of students, and extended scope practitioners. This includes directly line managing a small group of pharmacists.
  4. Represent the pharmacy department through professional leadership and advocacy, and liaise with internal and external agencies as required, including relevant national pharmacy networks.
  5. Develop and contribute to practice based research, medication safety initiatives, accreditation activities, policy and procedure review, strategic planning and service review, and quality improvement projects relevant to MHJHADS in coordination with the Quality use of Medicines and management team.
  6. Proactively develop own knowledge and expertise to serve the functions of the role and the environment keeping abreast of emerging trends in pharmacy services, acting as the Pharmacy Professional Lead for MHJHADS to support specialty areas.
  7. Undertaking other duties as directed, within the approved scope of clinical practice ensuring the delivery of high quality person and family centred, safe and high quality patient care.

Personal Attributes

To be successful in this position, it is expected that the successful candidate will have the following attributes:

  • Strong organisational skills with a strong work ethic.
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to motivate and inspire others to work together as a team with a sense of shared purpose to achieve objectives with integrity.
  • Conceptual and analytical skill
  • Adaptability and flexibility to accommodate change and provide responsive services to meet clients’ needs

Qualifications/Other Requirements

Qualifications/Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be registered (or be eligible for registration) as a Pharmacist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
  • Postgraduate qualifications in Clinical Pharmacy, Management, Education or Research, or experience deemed equivalent (supported by the development of an Advance Pharmacist Practice Portfolio).
  • Significant experience of working within the area of mental health, justice health and/or drug and alcohol management.

Highly Desirable:

  • The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) membership.
  • Research experience and/or publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Project management experience.
  • Current Driver’s license.

Please note prior to commencement successful candidates may be required to:

  • Undergo a pre-employment Police check.
  • Comply with ACT Health credentialing for Allied Health professionals.
  • Provide a Compliance Certificate from OMU (Occupational Medicine Unit) relating to assessment, screening & vaccination processes against specified infectious diseases.

Note: If practising clinically (providing direct clinical care to patients or supervising staff providing direct clinical care to patients) as an allied health professional in any capacity at any time in ACT Health facilities, the person occupying this position will be required to comply with ACT Health credentialing requirements for allied health professionals. Initial credentialing is completed following a pre-offer for a position, prior to any appointment being made.

Selection Criteria

These are the key criteria for how you will be assessed in conjunction with your resume and experience.

Your statement of claims against the selection criteria should summarise how your skills and experiences would enable you to fulfil the responsibilities of the position. It is therefore in the interests of candidates to present their application in a way that demonstrates significant outcomes associated with each of the criteria, as well as the capabilities and behaviours that underpin them.

(Please note that it is not necessary to address the capabilities and behaviours individually)

  1. Proven high level of competence, expertise, skills and ability to apply clinical judgment in clinical and operational pharmacy services to any of the following areas: mental health, justice health, drug and alcohol management.
  2. Demonstrated high level interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to consult, negotiate and liaise effectively with colleagues in the multidisciplinary setting and with patients, showing a commitment to building and maintaining effective working relationships, including managerial and/or high level supervisory skills.
  3. Commitment to and demonstrated expertise in education, mentoring and training, and the ability to impart knowledge and skills to pharmacy staff, students, hospital clinicians, and other stakeholders.
  4. Demonstrated experience in the development, evaluation and maintenance of departmental improvement programs, policy and procedures, medication safety initiatives, performance monitoring, research initiatives and accreditation activities.
  5. Demonstrate a commitment to work, health and safety (WH&S) and the positive patient experience and displays behaviour consistent with ACT Health’s values of Care, Excellence, Collaboration and Integrity.


Work Level Standards


Job Demands Checklist

Physical Demand                                                                                                                         Frequency

Sitting - remaining in a seated position to perform tasks


Standing - remaining standing without moving about to perform tasks


Walking - Floor type: even / uneven / slippery, indoors / outdoors, slopes


Running - Floor type: even / uneven / slippery, indoors / outdoors, slopes


Bend/Lean Forward from Waist - Forward bending from the waist to perform tasks


Trunk Twisting - Turning from the waist while sitting or standing to perform tasks


Kneeling - remaining in a kneeling posture to perform tasks


Squatting / Crouching - Adopting a squatting or crouching posture to perform tasks


Leg / Foot Movement - Use of leg and / or foot to operate machinery


Climbing (stairs/ladders) - Ascend / descend stairs, ladders, steps


Lifting / Carrying - Light lifting & carrying: 0 - 9 kg


Lifting / Carrying - Moderate lifting & carrying: 10 - 15 kg


Lifting / Carrying - Heavy lifting & carrying: 16kg & above


Reaching - Arms fully extended forward or raised above shoulder


Pushing / Pulling / Restraining - Using force to hold / restrain or move objects toward or away from the body


Head / Neck Postures - Holding head in a position other than neutral (facing forward)


Hand & Arm Movements - Repetitive movements of hands and arms


Grasping / Fine Manipulation - Gripping, holding, clasping with fingers or hands


Driving - Operating any motor powered vehicle




Sensory Demands                                                                                                                     Frequency

Sight - Use of sight is an integral part of work performance e.g. Viewing of X-Rays, computer screens


Smell - Use of smell is an integral part of work performance e.g. Working with chemicals


Touch - Use of touch is an integral part of work performance




Psychosocial Demands                                                                                                             Frequency

Distressed People - e.g. Emergency or grief situations


Aggressive & Uncooperative People - e.g. drug / alcohol, dementia, mental illness


Unpredictable People - e.g. Dementia, mental illness, head injuries


Restraining - involvement in physical containment of clients/consumers


Exposure to Distressing Situations - e.g. Child abuse, viewing dead / mutilated bodies; verbal abuse; domestic violence; suicide




Environment Demands                                                                                                             Frequency

Gases - Working with explosive or flammable gases requiring precautionary measures


Liquids - Working with corrosive, toxic or poisonous liquids or chemicals requiring PPE


Hazardous substances - e.g. Dry chemicals, glues


Noise - Environmental / background noise necessitates people raise their voice to be heard


Sunlight - Risk of sunburn exists from spending more than 10 minutes per day in sunlight


Confined Spaces - areas where only one egress (escape route) exists


Slippery or Uneven Surfaces - Greasy or wet floor surfaces, ramps, uneven ground


Inadequate Housekeeping - Obstructions to walkways and work areas cause trips and falls


Biological Hazards - e.g. exposure to body fluids, bacteria, infectious diseases