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Pharmacies hosting foundation trainees to be paid £26.5k a year from 2025

Community pharmacies that host foundation trainee pharmacists will receive £26,500 a year in funding per trainee from July 2025.  

The grant given to sites that employ a trainee pharmacist will increase from the current £18,440 to £26,500 a year per trainee from July 2025, NHS England (NHSE) announced today (November 7).

The funding, which has increased 44%, will be paid to community pharmacies and all other training sites that take on trainee pharmacists during their foundation year, it said.

NHSE added that the funding will be a “contribution” to “all costs of hosting a trainee including supervision, administration and salary costs”.

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

The funding may also be put towards multi-sector rotation placements that are “strongly encouraged” for 2025/26 students and will be “compulsory” as a 13-week rotation from 2026/27, according to NHSE.

It said that where two training sites reciprocally swap trainees, “it is intended that all of the funding is retained” by the employing site, but that “where a training site does not have access to a reciprocal rotation” they can use “a portion of the funding to pay another organisation”.

It added that the increased funding will be “consistent across all sectors of practice and all regions of England” and that it will be accompanied by a “consistent funding training offer” for all foundation year trainee pharmacists across all sectors and regions.

 

“An important step forward”

 

Responding to the news, the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) England board chair Tase Oputu said that the “significant increase” in funding “is an important step forward for the pharmacy profession”.

She praised NHSE’s approach for ensuring “parity in funding across all sectors of pharmacy” and said the RPS appreciates NHSE recognition that the costs of hosting trainees have “significantly increased” and “will continue to do so as trainees register as prescribers.”

However, she highlighted that “this grant contributes to costs not salaries” and that “pharmacy teams are under increasing pressure”.

Read more: Where are all the designated prescribing practitioners?

Ms Oputu said she is pleased “that the RPS’s continued calls for investment in the development of trainee pharmacists have been heeded”, “in particular” the inclusion of the grant for community pharmacies that “remained unchanged for many years”.

Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) chief executive Malcolm Harrison echoed Ms Oputu’s support for the news, adding that “the ability to use a proportion of funding to pay for cross-sector placements is welcome” to ensure that “all foundation pharmacists have access” to prescribing training.

He said that the CCA looks forward to working with the NHS as it “[scopes] out” the “offer of funded training…extended to community pharmacists”.

Read more: NHSE launches funded community pharmacy prescribing supervisor training

And he added that while “there is still lots of work that needs to be undertaken to ensure initial education and training reforms are a success”, the CCA is “confident” it can help ensure pharmacists “have the skills needed to deliver advanced clinical services such as independent prescribing”.

The increased funding comes as independent prescribing and cross-sector training are set to form part of the curriculum for trainee pharmacists from 2025/26.

Last month, Community Pharmacy Wales’s (CPW) acting chief executive warned delegates at the Pharmacy Show that cross-sector training, which is already available in Wales, “hasn't necessarily helped” with retaining staff in the community pharmacy sector.

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