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More than 300 funded independent prescribing places announced in England

Eligible pharmacists across England will be able to apply for one of the 327 funded independent prescribing places for courses starting in the first half of 2022, Health Education England (HEE) has announced.

Details of “an initial offer of funded independent prescribing courses”, which are likely to start before or around March this year, have now been released by HEE.

Pharmacists will only be able to apply to these courses if they meet certain criteria, including:

  • being based in England

  • working in community pharmacy

  • working in primary care but not employed in a primary care network Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme role

  • working in health and justice settings

Pharmacists can apply directly to the course providers and places will be allocated on a “on a first come, first served basis, based on a complete application”, HEE wrote.

Some courses might need a minimum number of participants before they can start, while others might close their applications before the deadline if they reach maximum capacity, HEE added.


Two types of courses


The funded places are for courses in “Independent Prescribing” and “Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing (CEPIP)”, both providing pharmacists with an independent prescribing annotation on completion.

The CEPIP courses are “blended with enhanced clinical content – including clinical health assessment and diagnostics”, HEE specified.

There are 184 places available for independent prescribing courses, which mostly start before the end of February, although some start in March.

Meanwhile, there are 143 funded places for the CEPIP courses, with all classes starting in February.

More information on each course and on how to apply can be found on this HEE document.


“A welcome start”


Alastair Buxton, Director of NHS Services at the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC), said that “this initial offer is a welcome start to support community pharmacists to develop their skills, particularly those who were already planning to commence training early in 2022”.

“HEE is now putting in place the next phase of this IP training programme, so there will be many more opportunities for pharmacists to access training later in the year,” he said.

In November last year, the English government pledged to invest up to £15.9 million over four years into a programme to “enhance” pharmacists' and pharmacy technicians’ skills – including independent prescribing training for some pharmacists.


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