Lead Pharmacist – Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS)

ACT Health
June 17, 2022
PO Box 11,Woden ACT 2605, Canberra, Australia
Job Type
Position description
State or territory



Directorate Canberra Health Services   Reporting Relationships Division Medical Services   Lead Pharmacist MHJHADS Branch Pharmacy   Position Number P26207   Position Title Lead Pharmacist – Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug Services (MHJHADS)   Classification Pharmacist Level 4   Location Pharmacy   Last Reviewed 12 May 2022  


Our Vision: creating exceptional health care together

Our Role: to be a health service that is trusted by our community

Our Values: Reliable, Progressive, Respectful and Kind


Canberra Health Services (CHS) is focussed on the delivery of high quality, effective, person centred care. It provides acute, sub-acute, primary and community‐based health services, to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and surrounding region. More information can be found on the CHS website:  https://www.health.act.gov.au/

The Pharmacy sits within the Office of the Executive Director of Medical Services (EDMS) which includes the Physician Training Office, Medical Officer Support, Credentialing, Employment and Training Unit (MOSCETU), GP Liaison Unit (GPLU), Pathology, Pharmacy, Medical Imaging and Library Services.

The CHS 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 position holder will integrate into the CHS Pharmacy team and will provide a range of pharmacy services on a rostered basis.


Under limited direction of the Deputy Director of Pharmacy the Lead Pharmacist for Mental Health, Justice Health and Alcohol & Drug 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 the MHJHADS Services through CHS including the mental health services provided across ACT, the University of Canberra Hospital, and the Justice Health Service within ACT. This position will also be responsible for the Justice Health Pharmacy Service, including responsibility for the state of the art automated tablet packing machine at the Canberra Hospital used to sachet pack medicines for the Justice Health Service areas.

This position will also include advanced clinical, education, research and quality improvement roles.

You will:

  1. Lead and coordinate the provision of the clinical pharmacy service to the MHJHADS Division, promoting safe, efficacious, and economical use of medicines, and ensuring relevant drug budgets are monitored and managed. This includes providing advanced level clinical pharmacy services to the MHJHADS Division whilst maintaining clinical pharmacy skills in other generalist areas.
  2. Provide professional supervision, ongoing professional development and personal performance review to staff working within the MHJHADS Division 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 team of pharmacists.
  3. Represent the pharmacy department, providing professional leadership and advocacy in various forums, as well as contributing expertise in medicines management to multi-disciplinary groups delivering care or working to improve the quality, safety and efficacy of care delivery.
  4. 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 medical specialties in coordination with the quality use of medicines and management team.
  5. Proactively develop own knowledge and expertise to serve the functions of the role and the environment, keeping abreast of emerging trends in pharmacy services relevant to the MHJHADS Division.
  6. Contribute to governance processes within the MHJHADS Division.
  7. Undertake other duties appropriate to this level of classification and scope of practice which contributes to the operation of the organisation.


CHS is committed to workforce diversity and to creating an inclusive workplace. As part of this commitment, we welcome applications from all diversity groups. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people with disability and people who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, or Questioning (LGBTIQ) are particularly encouraged to apply.

Behavioural Capabilities

  1. Passion for learning and contributing to great healthcare, so as to achieve the best patient care outcomes possible, with the patient's goals and objectives in mind
  2. Strong organisational skills with a high degree of personal drive and integrity
  3. Developed leadership skills and motivation with the ability to participate in the department's quality improvement projects, educational programs and research activities

Position Requirements/Qualifications:

  • Be registered or 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 (preferably supported by the development of an Advance Pharmacist Practice Portfolio).
  • Able to demonstrate competency standards at the Consolidation Level of the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework for Australia within the metal health area as a minimum.

Highly Desirable

  • The Society of Hospital Pharmacist of Australia (SHPA) membership.
  • Membership of a professional organisation linked to the area of specialty (e.g. SHPA Mental Health Specialty Practice or Leadership Group, UK College of Mental Health Pharmacy)
  • Research experience and/or publication in peer reviewed journals.
  • Project management, leadership and management experience.
  • Current Driver’s license

The successful applicant will need to:

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

  • Comply with CHS credentialing and scope of clinical practice requirements for allied health professionals.
  • Obtain a Compliance Certificate from OMU (Occupational Medicine Unit) relating to assessment, screening & vaccination processes against specified infectious diseases.
  • Undergo a pre-employment Police check.


These are the key selection criteria for how you will be assessed in conjunction with your resumé and experience:

  1. Proven high level of competence, expertise, skills and ability to apply clinical judgment in the provision of clinical pharmacy services to the MHJHADS specialty areas including mental health, justice health and drug and alcohol.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. Leadership and management that demonstrates competence at the consolidation level defined within the Advanced Pharmacy Practice Framework, including demonstrated high level interpersonal and communication skills, the ability to consult, negotiate and liaise effectively with colleagues in the multidisciplinary setting
  5. Demonstrates understanding of, and adherence to, safety and quality standards, work, health and safety (WH&S) and the positive patient experience. Displays behaviour consistent with CHS’s values of reliable, progressive, respectful and kind.

The Pharmacy Department at Canberra Health Services is looking for a talented, dynamic and highly motivated individual to fulfill this role. The department is progressive and forward thinking, optimising the use of technology, and looking to progress extended scope roles for pharmacists and technicians across key areas of the organisation. The department already runs a successful SHPA accredited residency program and has an excellent intern training program. The post holder will be joining at an exciting time where the department will be introducing advanced training residencies and implementing partnered pharmacist medication charting at Canberra Health Services.

Construction of a new clinical services building is currently underway to modernise and enhance care for the population across the Territory. The expansion includes a new emergency, surgical and critical healthcare facility at the existing hospital campus.


Applications must be submitted through the e-recruitment system. Applications must include a copy of a current resumé, and

  • A response to the selection criteria under “what you require” in no more than two pages.

Where possible include specific relevant examples of your work.

CHS Contact: Hameda Lane, Deputy Director of Pharmacy (Clinical). Tel: 51242203


The following work environment description outlines the inherent requirements of the role and indicates how frequently each of these requirements would need to be performed. Please note that the ACT Public Service is committed to providing reasonable adjustments and ensuring all individuals have equal opportunities in the workplace.


ADMINISTRATIVE FREQUENCY Telephone use Frequently General computer use Frequently Extensive keying/data entry Occasionally Graphical/analytical based Occasionally Sitting at a desk Occasionally Standing for long periods Occasionally


PSYCHOSOCIAL DEMANDS FREQUENCY Distressed People e.g. Emergency or grief situations Occasionally Aggressive & Uncooperative People e.g. drug / alcohol, dementia, mental illness Occasionally Unpredictable People e.g. Dementia, mental illness, head injuries Occasionally Restraining e.g. involvement in physical containment of clients/consumers Never Exposure to Distressing Situations e.g. Child abuse, viewing dead / mutilated bodies; verbal abuse; domestic violence; suicide Never


PHYSICAL DEMANDS FREQUENCY Distance walking (large buildings or inter-building transit) Occasionally Working outdoors Never


MANUAL HANDLING FREQUENCY Lifting 0 – 9kg Occasionally Lifting 10 – 15kg Never Lifting 16kg+ Never Climbing Never Running Never Reaching Occasionally Kneeling Occasionally Foot and leg movement Frequently Hand, arm and grasping movements Occasionally Bending/squatting Occasionally Bend/Lean Forward from Waist/Trunk twisting Occasionally Push/pull Occasionally Sequential repetitive movements in a short amount of time Never


TRAVEL FREQUENCY Frequent travel – multiple work sites Occasionally Frequent travel – driving Occasionally


SPECIFIC HAZARDS FREQUENCY Working at heights Never Exposure to extreme temperatures Never Operation of heavy machinery e.g. forklift Never Confined spaces Never Excessive noise Never Low lighting Never Handling of dangerous goods/equipment e.g. gases; liquids; biological. Frequently Slippery or uneven surfaces Never


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