Pharmacists and paramedics may be able to train speedily as doctors as part of a fast-track scheme to make training more “flexible” and resolve the NHS workforce crisis, The Times reported on Friday (January 31).
The UK’s departure from the EU could mean a loosening of the current rules requiring a person to gain a full medical degree to register as a doctor.
The government is likely to put forward that the conversion course could “encourage health staff to progress” and enable those who might find it difficult to go back to university for years to become doctors, the newspaper claimed.
When asked by C+D today (February 3) about the fast-track proposal, the Department of Health and Social Care (DH) declined to comment or provide further information at present. However, the DH added that it will provide more information “if and when plans develop”.
RPS: Diverting staff will increase pressures
Diverting pharmacists out of the profession could make workforce issues “even more of a challenge”, Royal Pharmaceutical Society president Sandra Gidley said in a statement on Friday (January 31).
The NHS is already “struggling to recruit into new roles quickly enough” due to the demand for 6,000 new pharmacists to fill primary care network places, she added.
Although the RPS “welcomed discussions” on the NHS people plan,“proposals on retraining have not been part of the conversation to date”, Ms Gidley claimed.
Pharmacists are “proud of what they do”, as part of a “multidisciplinary team”, and there is “growing demand across the NHS for the expertise of pharmacists, and increasing recognition of their unique skills”, Ms Gidley added.
For further on this topic, read locum pharmacist Laura Buckley's reaction to the news, and find out why she is disappointed by the government's proposal.