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HEE unveils 2,000 free post-reg training places for pharmacists

The post-registration training is one of eight HEE "strands" rolled out across community pharmacy
The post-registration training is one of eight HEE "strands" rolled out across community pharmacy

Health Education England (HEE) has launched “up to 2,000” post-registration training places for community pharmacists, equivalent to a postgraduate certificate.

The master's degree-level courses cover five “strands” – “service improvement, extended skills, patient activation, delivering medicines optimisation, and NHS England priorities” – HEE said in a statement last week (January 25).

Courses such as “applied therapeutics”, “mental health” and “introduction to pharmacy public health services” amount to different credits, and pharmacists can choose to study a “single or range of modules”, with up to 60 credits – equivalent to a postgraduate certificate – per learner available.

The post-registration training will be offered across all five NHS England regions, via De Montfort University, the University of Manchester, the University of Bath, the University of Keele and the University of Exeter, from February 2018 to March 2019, HEE explained.

The online modules “offer a choice of flexible studying, reducing the need for travel”, HEE said. “Some face-to-face learning and workplace assessments” will be involved, it added. See university providers' websites for more details.

Professor Wendy Reid, executive director of education and quality at HEE, said the training is “part of our broader agenda to drive workforce transformation across the NHS to support locally delivered integrated care models”.

The training will be funded by the Pharmacy Integration Fund and is one of HEE’s eight training “strands” to better integrate pharmacists and pharmacy technicians “into wider primary care as part of new multidisciplinary healthcare teams”.

Pharmacists already enrolled on HEE’s 'Integrating pharmacy into urgent care’, 'Medicine optimisation in care homes', and 'Clinical pharmacists in general practice' programmes are not eligible to access the post-registration training provision, “to avoid duplication of the content”, HEE stressed.

Locum pharmacists must have sponsorship support from a pharmacy to access the modules, HEE added, and the funding does not cover “supervision or remuneration for time on the course”.

NHS England’s deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Bruce Warner said the range of training initiatives available from HEE will “enable [pharmacists and pharmacy technicians] to spend more time delivering clinical and public health services”.

Applications are now open via the university providers, and more information is available on the HEE website.

See how community pharmacists reacted to the training announcement on Twitter below.

“Entirely in favour of professional development, but…”
Are you interested in these post-registration training opportunities?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Will this be worth the money/time invested?

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

The problem in Pharmacy is that I see it as eventually being a tool for employers to use to either exploit Pharmacists or control them. These modules could effectively be integrated into the pre-reg and have lower number of hours of pre-regs in the dispensaries working as slaves and actually developing. If it is so valuble, open it for everyone and integrate it into the pre-reg.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I disagree entirely about making these available to pre-reg's, firstly they have to gain practice experience and then pass their registration exam. Once they have registered and in practice one or two years then that is the right time.

Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I think this is a good opportunity to obtain a valuable qualification to assist develop their career in a general way, but how it is translated into delivering clinical community pharmacy services with the current contract funding issues is an entirely different matter. I wish everyone good luck :-)

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