Government to plough up to £15.9m into training for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
The English government has pledged to invest up to £15.9 million over the next four years into a programme to “enhance” pharmacists' and pharmacy technicians’ skills – including independent prescribing training for some pharmacists.
The additional funding, which comes from the pool of money set aside for the Pharmacy Integration Programme, will “allow for the expansion of frontline pharmacy staff in primary and community care”, Health Education England (HEE) said in a statement this morning (November 8).
NHSE&I and HEE will work in partnership to develop “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”, according to HEE.
The two bodies will also work on an independent prescribing training offer for community pharmacists and those working in general practice; “increase access to clinical training courses for pharmacy technicians in primary care”; and collaborate to expand training on clinical examination skills community pharmacists, HEE added.
An HEE spokesperson told C+D that more information on how pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be able to access the education and training programmes will follow as HEE develops the offers.*
“Big difference” to career development
HEE director of national transformational programmes, Alan Ryan, said this investment will “make a big difference to the pharmacy workforce and career development in primary care”.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, NHSE&I deputy chief pharmaceutical officer, Richard Cattell, added that the programme will help pharmacists and pharmacy technicians better integrate “into wider healthcare delivery as part of multi-professional clinical teams in primary care networks”.
“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,” Mr Cattell added.
NHSE&I announced at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham last month that it had decided to allocate some money from the Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) to pay for the development of ICS-based community pharmacy integration leads.
The PhIF was introduced in 2016 to accelerate pharmacy’s integration with other parts of the healthcare system and to further integrate clinical pharmacy services into primary care networks.
*This story was updated on November 9 to include additional information shared by HEE after publication