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Well Pharmacy to slash trainee places by 75% in England

The multiple has offered “less than 30” places for English pharmacy trainees in the 2025/26 cohort and may “need to withdraw some of those places”, C+D has learned.  

A lack of designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs) means Well will be offering 75% less English foundation trainee places to the 2025/26 cohort, C+D has learned. 

From 2025/26, NHS England (NHSE) has said all foundation trainees “must have access to a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) and a prescribing learning environment”.

But today (March 19), people development manager at Well Jessica Hall told C+D the new requirement has seen the multiple only able to offer “less than 30” placements in England. “In terms of our submission numbers, we're probably talking 25% of what we submitted last year,” she said. 

She told C+D the “biggest” challenge the multiple has had with the training changes is “around being able to have DPPs” as “currently within community pharmacy we don't have capacity”.

Hall stressed that “in previous years” Well has advertised more placements than it was aiming to fill as the national recruitment scheme Oriel “hasn't given [Well] the fill rate that [it] wanted”.

But she told C+D that while the multiple could have filled all the slots it advertised in previous years it, it still hasn’t secured DPPs for all of the 2025/26 placements.

“We might need to withdraw some of those places if I'm not able to secure that DPP between now and the end of May,” she said. 

 

“A challenge”

 

She added that because multisector training isn’t mandatory for trainees until 2026/27 but that both general practices and primary care networks (PCNs) are eligible for “lead employer” trainee pharmacist funding in 2025/26, “the other sectors can serve themselves”.

“I think that hasn't perhaps helped,” she said.

Hall told C+D that she thought only the 2025/26 cohort would see a “dip” in placements offered until multisector training becomes mandatory the following year.

She said some hospital trusts have told Well “we're not in a position to work with you this year, because actually, we're just going to do our own 12-month program, but next year when multisector is mandatory let's have a conversation.”

Hall added that although Well has been “investing in training independent prescribers (IPs)” since 2017, finding DPPs had “been a challenge”.

But she said that there may be “slight increase” in the number of trainee placement slots offered by Well in Wales and Scotland “subject to how many [trainees] we match with”.

She explained this is because both Wales and Scotland have IP lead services and therefore more “practicing IPs” who can act as DPPs for trainees. 

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