NHSE funds 1,000 places for pharmacist in-person training in clinical skills push
Pharmacists who complete two online modules can qualify for face-to-face training with people trained in “medical role play”, NHSE has revealed.
NHS England (NHSE) is funding 1,000 in-person clinical examinations skills training sessions for pharmacists, it has exclusively revealed to C+D.
In-person clinical skills training is available to pharmacists who have completed two online clinical skills training modules and who work in community pharmacies or as locums, NHSE told C+D last week (September 21).
In March, C+D reported that NHSE had funded 10,000 places for pharmacist clinical examination skills training using online modules.
Under this scheme, pharmacists working in community settings can receive training in specialist topics including dermatology, cardiology and paediatrics through healthcare education provider CliniSkills.
The training, which NHSE said offers a “step towards independent prescribing” or an opportunity to expand or refresh clinical skills for those who already have the qualification, runs until March 2024 and pharmacists can register through the CliniSkills website.
Pharmacists who register with the programme must complete an introductory online “gateway module” and then can choose one of four specialist online modules, NHSE told C+D.
A certificate of completion will be available for passing a module, with each estimated to take around an hour, according to CliniSkills.
“Medical role play”
Four cities will host the optional in-person training – Birmingham will serve pharmacists from the East Midlands and West Midlands, Bristol will serve South-West England, Slough will host pharmacists from London and South-East England, while pharmacists in the North will travel to Manchester.
The face-to-face sessions will give pharmacists the chance to practise “new procedures and techniques” in real-life scenarios with people who have been trained in “medical role play” known as associate clinical educators, NHSE said.
They will also have access to “a full range of clinical equipment”, it added.
At present, specialist online training in paediatrics, ear, nose and throat (ENT) and cardiology is live, while a two-part dermatology module covering skin conditions and wound care will be released later this month, it said.
Participants will be able to book onto a face-to-face training session once they have successfully completed the corresponding specialist module, as well as the introductory module, it added.
While there are “currently” 1,000 in-person training places available, this will be reviewed “based on demand” as the programme develops, NHSE said.
Building for a “clinical future”
The clinical skills training forms part of NHSE’s £15.9 million investment into the pharmacy integration programme, according to an NHSE spokesperson.
NHSE chief pharmaceutical officer (CPhO) David Webb said that the clinical skills programme will “support community pharmacists to build for their clinical future”.
The programme was designed based on input from community pharmacists and sector leaders to “develop the career progression” of pharmacists, he added.
Paul Duell, pharmacy dean at NHSE workforce, training and education, said that the “flexible and tailored” training would help community pharmacists to “expand or refresh clinical and consultation skills”.
The news comes as NHSE is expanding its training for pharmacy professionals.
Last month, it announced 1,000 places for would-be DPPs and education supervisors in community pharmacies.
Just two weeks before, it announced that it was also fully funding training for 840 pharmacy technicians that would allow them to “take on more responsibility” in dispensing medicines and delivering clinical services.
And at the start of August, the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) announced 60 new NHSE-funded places on an accuracy checking pharmacy technician (ACPT) training programme.