Community pharmacists can now apply for one of 327 fully-funded places on independent prescribing pharmacist courses, Health Education England (HEE) has announced.
The courses, all of which will start before March 2022, are available at nine schools of pharmacy across England.
Some 143 of the available training places are in “Clinically Enhanced Independent Prescribing Delivery” courses, which include additional clinical content, such as clinical health assessment and diagnosis.
In a document advertising the training places, published on January 27, 2022, HEE said the places are open to pharmacists working in England in the fields of community pharmacy, health and justice or primary care.
However, pharmacists working in the primary care sector are not eligible if employed under the “Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme” as these pharmacists can already access fully funded training for independent prescribing.
Pharmacists must also be able to demonstrate support from an identified DMP or designated prescriber and have appropriate placement arranged for practice-based learning in order to apply, the document says.
The training places announcement comes after the NHS announced it would invest £15.9 million over the next four years to improve career development opportunities for pharmacy teams in England, including the training of independent prescribers for community pharmacists.
Thorrun Govind, chair of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s English Pharmacy Board, said it was “great to see this open to pharmacists working in community pharmacy, other primary care roles and healthcare settings and of righteousness”.
“We hope pharmacists will take up this offer and can use their prescribing skills to support patient care, safety and improved access, and to support how the NHS recovers from the pandemic.”
Helga Mangion, Policy Officer at the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), said: “The huge potential for independent prescribing in neighborhoods and street pharmacies has yet to be tapped, so we are delighted to see HEE help make more courses available for this.
“The NPA’s aspiration is that pharmacist-independent prescribing will eventually become commonplace in community pharmacies, so that people can enjoy more convenient service in maintaining health and managing long-term ailments. , as well as acute care.”
Under the new Trainee Pharmacist Training Year scheme, which replaces the UK-wide pre-registration year, pharmacists will eventually qualify as independent prescribers at the time of registration.
However, the first cohort to enter the register as independent prescribers will not graduate until 2026, with bodies including the Royal Pharmaceutical Society saying it was important that the existing workforce not not be ‘left behind’ and offered similar opportunities for independent prescribing. qualification.
In July 2021, The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed that the number of independent prescribing pharmacists more than tripled between 2016 and 2020.
Read more: A quiet revolution: how prescribing pharmacists are reshaping parts of the NHS