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Wales sees record number of pre-reg pharmacists

Minister for health Vaughan Gething said the increase in trainee pharmacists is “great news”
Minister for health Vaughan Gething said the increase in trainee pharmacists is “great news”

The number of pre-registration pharmacists accepting placements in Wales has reached a record high of 155 for 2020-21, meaning 97% of places have been filled.

This constitutes a 61% increase on 2019-20, when there were 96 pre-reg trainees in Wales. The overall fill rate for England and Wales is significantly lower at 65%, according to a statement by Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

The increase in trainees accepting pre-reg placements across the seven health boards in Wales comes after the HEIW #TrainWorkLive recruitment campaign, it said.

Investing an extra £3.6m

The Welsh government is “investing an extra £3.6 million for training pharmacists and increasing training places”, minister for health and social services Vaughan Gething has said.

The government plans to increase the number of training places available for pre-registration pharmacists to 200 for the August 2023 cohort, he added.

Mr Gething described the increase in trainee pharmacists as “significant”. He added that it is “great news” and an “encouraging start” to the country’s effort to train more pharmacists.

“In Wales, pharmacists increasingly play an important role in providing advice and treatment in communities, GP practices and hospitals,” he said.

Welsh “commitment” to pre-regs

Professor Margaret Allan, pharmacy dean at HEIW, said she is “delighted that undergraduate students across the UK have recognised the commitment in Wales to invest in pre-registration pharmacist training”.

The investment will ensure a “first class quality-assured training experience”, she said.

The training programme is one of “the building blocks” that will help “meet the ambitions of Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales, a report published  by the Welsh Pharmaceutical Committee in April 2019, Professor Allan explained.

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