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New report helps set standard for pharmacists of the future

29 January 2020

The North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation (SoPMO) has visited 65 NHS Trusts across the north of England to hear their views on current and future foundation pharmacist training.

The exercise is part of a wider process to evaluate development of the infrastructure that will underpin a new foundation training programme for all pharmacists.

A report on the consultation published today (29 Jan) will be shared with key stakeholders across the country to elicit a wider range of views. 

Access the report.

Dr Jane Brown, Pharmacy Dean SoPMO said: “The report highlights examples of innovative practice and describes the challenges of delivering high-quality foundation pharmacist training. Our discussions showed that NHS Trusts value a consistent approach to training as part of our overarching efforts to provide the best possible service for patients. 

“While the report focuses on Trusts in the north, we’d like to share it with a wider base, including everyone at HEE and within other sectors of pharmacy, to progress development of a national approach to foundation pharmacist training.”

SoPMO in the north was launched in 2018 to develop medicines optimisation skills among healthcare workers involved in prescribing, dispensing or administering medicines.

 The school’s strategic plan for 2018-2021 includes the co-ordination of existing education and training infrastructure - for example, the preregistration pharmacy technician training scheme, foundation vocational-based training programmes, advanced practice development for pharmacy, and the commissioning of new training programmes.

Among the key findings of the new report are:

  • Trusts recognised the potential benefits of a standardised national approach to a foundation pharmacist development programme;
  • A training culture that strengthens the development of foundation pharmacists is essential to creating a workforce fit for the future;
  • Educational governance and quality assurance are key elements of any foundation pharmacist development programme, and gaining workplace experience is essential;
  • The educational needs of foundation pharmacists need to be balanced with continued service provision.