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IP: Trainee pharmacists must have clinical prescribing area from 2025/26

Foundation trainee pharmacists must have a “nominated prescribing area” as part of their independent prescribing (IP) training from 2025/26, NHS England (NHSE) has announced.

New guidance published this week (January 17) by NHSE will require trainee pharmacists to have a “nominated prescribing area” as part of their IP training from 2025/26.

The document said that this aims to ensure trainees have “a sufficiently focussed area that isn’t too wide or overwhelming”.

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

“To put it another way, the nominated prescribing area gives the foundation trainee pharmacist a setting in which to demonstrate the generic skills of a prescriber,” it added.

The guidelines did not include a list of nominated prescribing areas but set out requirements, including choosing an area where the designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) for the trainee is “sufficiently knowledgeable, skilled and experienced to supervise within”.

Read more: The new trainee pharmacists arrangement: What could this mean for the future?

The nominated prescribing area must also be “appropriate in terms of complexity/acuity” for a foundation trainee pharmacist and cannot be a “non-healthcare area” such as aesthetics but must be “a clinical area relating to the provision of healthcare”, the guidance said.

And it must be an area where the trainee can “access patients under effective supervision with whom that they can conduct consultations”, it added.


No “limit” to future scope of practice


The document also said that the new guidelines “will not limit the future scope of practice” for trainees, who can “develop and widen their scope of practice” through “effective continuing professional development (CPD)” after being registered.

Trainees will not need to be “actively diagnosing a ‘new’ or undifferentiated condition” but could for example be working on “the ongoing management of an existing condition” or “medicines optimisation within the provision of clinical services”, it added.

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

It also said that training sites will not need to “identify the nominated prescribing area” in their training post descriptions but may “choose to indicate” what is available.

The document was originally published last week but was later removed and an updated version published on Wednesday (January 17) with minor changes.

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

Last week (January 9), the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA) announced in a webinar that both general practices and primary care networks (PCNs) will be eligible for “lead employer” trainee pharmacist funding from 2025/26.

“This means that starting from 2025, practices and PCNs can “be the employer of (a) foundation trainee pharmacist”, it added.

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