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HEE seeks bids to fund over 3,000 independent prescribing training places

Health Education England (HEE) is hoping to make more than 3,000 funded independent prescribing training places available for courses starting in September, it has emerged.

The organisation is inviting providers that are currently offering General Pharmaceutical Council-accredited independent prescribing training to bid for a contract worth up to £13,080,000, HEE wrote in a contract notice published last week (April 20).

Successful bidders will be tasked with providing up to 3,011 places to eligible pharmacists between September 1 and March 31, 2023.

Providers have until May 23 to enter their bids and could have the option to extend their contract to March 2024 if the deal is awarded to them.


Read more: Government to plough up to £15.9m into training for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians


Who is eligible for the training?


Community pharmacists and those employed by a general practice will be eligible for the funded places, HEE specified.

Places can also be awarded to:

  • Those enrolled on the primary care pharmacy education pathway;

  • Health and justice pharmacists and those providing primary care services who are not employed via the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS);

  • Pharmacists employed via the ARRS, who are enrolled on the primary care pharmacy education pathway and meet its criteria to enrol onto an independent prescribing course;

  • Pharmacists working in the NHS-managed sector who are covering activity usually delivered through HEE regional commissioning models.


Read more: More than 300 funded independent prescribing places announced in England


“Multiple intake points for courses are desirable,” HEE noted, “and students may be enrolled into new courses up to the end date of the contract, with 'teaching out' permitted after this.”

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

Earlier this year, England-based community pharmacists were invited to apply for one of the 327 funded independent prescribing places for courses starting in the first half of 2022, allocated on a first come, first served basis.

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