£15.9 million for pharmacy professional career development
Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are set to benefit from a further investment of up to £15.9m over the next four years. This investment, announced by Health Education England (HEE) on 8th November, will allow for the expansion of frontline pharmacy staff in primary and community care, to meet the needs of patients and local communities.
This Pharmacy Integration Programme funding will enhance registered pharmacy professionals’ skills, through a range of training and development opportunities.
These will include:
- Developing a formal portfolio recognition process to identify the existing skills, training and experience gained by pharmacists working in primary care, allowing them to work more flexibly and better support GP services.
- Training in independent prescribing for pharmacists working in general practice and community pharmacy.
- Developing course accreditation processes, to increase access to clinical training courses for pharmacy technicians in primary care.
- Extending and expanding clinical examination skills training for community pharmacists.
- Increasing access to educational, prescribing, and clinical supervisors for pharmacy professionals working and training across primary care and community sectors.
These changes are expected to ensure that pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, their teams and pharmacy services are better equipped to support wider healthcare delivery and provide even safer clinical care to patients.
Alan Ryan, Director of National Transformational Programmes at HEE said: “This important investment in post-registration clinical skills and support will make a big difference to the pharmacy workforce and career development in primary care. The new development programmes are part of a major reform of pharmacy education and training pathways, led by HEE, to respond to the changing nature of patient care and service delivery in the NHS. New funded programmes will foster a range of skills and experiences to help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians thrive in multidisciplinary healthcare teams, and meet the demand for clinical care skills, prevention of ill-health and optimal outcomes from medicines in all NHS settings and at home.”
Richard Cattell, Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at NHSE/I said: “Pharmacist and pharmacy technician roles have evolved significantly in response to rapid changes in healthcare and pharmacy practice and there is a growing demand in the NHS for clinical, patient-facing, autonomous practitioners across all sectors.
“These changes will ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are well positioned to be further integrated into wider healthcare delivery as part of multi-professional clinical teams in PCNs.
“This structured postgraduate development demonstrates our commitment to ensuring existing registered pharmacy professionals have access to the same opportunities for further clinical training including independent prescribing qualifications.
“It properly acknowledges the clinical skills and vast experience of community pharmacists, providing them with a structured route to higher levels of practice.”