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University of Wolverhampton cancels IP course with ‘less than a week's notice’

The last-minute cancellation of an independent prescribing (IP) course has been a “significant blow” to students, C+D has learned.  

The University of Wolverhampton told students on Tuesday (January 9) that “due to unforeseen circumstances”, it has “made the difficult decision to suspend entry to [its] practice certificate in independent prescribing in January 2024”.

One student who had applied to the course, who wished to remain anonymous, said it was set to begin on Monday (January 15), leaving them with "less than a week's notice”.

A spokesperson for the university told C+D that the decision “was not taken lightly” but that it “felt there was no other option”.

Read more: Pharmacists as leaders: A journey we should all be on to help the DPP shortage

In a letter seen by C+D, the university apologised “for any disappointment” and said it wanted to let students “know as soon as this decision had been made”.

It said that “key members” of the university’s “expert teaching team are unfortunately unavailable to staff the January iteration of the course”.

Read more: Making the most of the IP course

It confirmed that it “will be delivering” its September 2024 IP course and has “automatically moved” students “to this new intake”, with “places being reserved for successful applicants who originally applied to start the course in January 2024”.

The university also shared a list of “accredited institutions” for those wishing to “consider [their] options at an alternative provider”.


“Too late to look elsewhere”


But the student who spoke to C+D said that the cancellation was “a significant blow” to their plans and those of their colleagues who “will have requested days off".

They suggested that the course was cancelled due to being “severely understaffed” and highlighted that doing so at such short notice was “not a good reflection on higher management".

Read more: Plymouth University set to offer Bath MPharm degree from September

They added that they will “try to look for March intakes” at different universities but that it was likely that “it is now too late to look elsewhere because all the courses are full”.

The student said that taking the September course instead "really makes a big difference” and might affect their plans “quite a bit”.

And they stressed that the "irresponsibility and smoke screens" of the university “[do] not reflect well on the profession".


“Decision not taken lightly”


Speaking to C+D today (January 11) the University of Wolverhampton said that it “regrettably had to suspend entry to the January intake”.

A spokesperson stressed to C+D that the university has “reserved places” in the September course for those “who had [been] accepted to start the course in January”.

Read more: Help or hindrance?: GP practices and PCNs to be paid to train pharmacists

They added that “this decision had to be taken at short notice and was not taken lightly” but that the university “felt there was no other option to protect the integrity and quality of the course, and equally importantly the student experience.”

The university “sincerely” apologised to students “who have been affected”.

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

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