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Cross-sector training no silver bullet for retaining community pharmacy staff

Cross-sector training “hasn't necessarily helped” with retaining staff in the community pharmacy sector, Community Pharmacy Wales’s (CPW) acting chief executive has suggested.

Speaking at the Pharmacy Show in Birmingham last week (October 16), Judy Misra said that “from a reality point of view”, cross-sector training “hasn’t been hugely successful from a community pharmacy perspective…in retaining” staff in parts of Wales.

Read more: Aim for all new pharmacists to prescribe under GPhC-approved plans

She revealed that “multi-sector training” in Wales, which all UK trainees will have to undertake during their foundation year from 2025, has not “come with without its challenges”.

Wales has offered foundation training split across different sectors – community pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and general practice pharmacy – since 2019. However, Ms Misra said that this type of training had created “a huge number of complexities”.

She explained that some students who choose to train in Wales because of its “really highly sought after” cross-sector training “really don’t want” to be there.

Read more: Oriel to become only route to HEE-funded foundation trainees

“That hasn’t necessarily helped with our recruitment challenges that we have, particularly in the west half of Wales, where we’ve struggled to get people over,” she said. “They really don't want to be…in Aberystwyth, and they don't want to be in a community pharmacy.”


Compulsory multi-sector training from 2025


Trainees in across the rest of the UK will have to complete compulsory cross-sector training from 2025 as part of the new standards for the initial education and training of pharmacists approved by the GPhC in 2020.

Read more: Trainees hit out: Reports of employers backtracking on Oriel placement terms

The cross-sector training will be completed by trainee pharmacists, previously known as pre-regs, during the new foundation training year.

The new standards also include an aim for all new graduates be be independent prescribers “at the point of registration” from 2026.

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