We've welcomed today’s announcement from Health Education England (HEE) that investment of up to £15.9m will be made in training and workforce development for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians over the next four years.
Commenting on the news, Chair of RPS in England Thorrun Govind said: “Access to training for independent prescribing is vital if pharmacists in England are to work routinely as part of multi-disciplinary teams across primary care to extend the provision of clinical services, especially in community pharmacy.
“To make this happen, services need to be put in place as soon as possible so that existing and future prescribers can use their qualifications to benefit patients. When new services are commissioned, the opportunities for pharmacist independent prescribers to improve patient care must always be considered and provided so patients see the right healthcare professional for their needs.
“Pharmacy teams are already under significant pressure and must be supported with the right skill mix and sufficient staff to be able to adapt to their workload and deliver the care their local population requires.
“For those new to prescribing, protected learning time is essential to ensure they are able to take up training opportunities and without this, the pool of potential prescribers will be much reduced.
“RPS has been commissioned by HEE to develop a primary care credential which will recognise pharmacists working at an advanced practice level. We have already seen a growth in primary care consultant pharmacist posts and these initiatives will provide a pathway for pharmacists to develop into senior roles as well as equipping them with the clinical knowledge and skills needed to provide day to day clinical care.
“Access to high quality supervision is also key to success, so investment in this is very welcome. The capacity of designated prescribing practitioners is already a challenge, so any investment that can improve this situation is positive.
“This Pharmacy Integration Programme funding will provide a range of training and development opportunities for primary care, which we would also like to see apply to colleagues in secondary care settings to enhance their skills too. We hope that HEE and NHS England will work with RPS to achieve what’s needed to fully support the development of the whole pharmacy workforce.”
See our work around Pharmacist Independent Prescribers.
Read more RPS news.