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Radical workforce transformation is required to deliver the ambitions of the NHS Long Term Plan and NHS Long Term Workforce Plan. Pharmacy professionals will need to work differently, become embedded in multidisciplinary teams and provide more direct care for patients within the new integrated care systems.

Our work aims to deliver a more responsive pharmacy workforce, equipped with the skills to deliver a clinical service across all care settings, and adapted to new ways of working.

Our work currently includes:


Our aim is to transform pharmacy education and training, to support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through their learning journey, at each step in their career.

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Pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists and pharmacy technicians need the knowledge, clinical skills and behaviours required to provide more person-centred care.

We are working with the Royal Pharmaceutical Society, Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK, NHS England and other partners and stakeholders to deliver new, innovative training and development opportunities.

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This joint plan outlines activities to help us all work towards our patient-facing aim:

To work collaboratively to develop and embed inclusive pharmacy professional practice into everyday care for patients and members of the public, to support the prevention of ill-health and address health inequalities within our diverse communities.

Co-produced with a wide range of partners from across national organisations in the pharmacy sector, this new national plan for inclusive pharmacy practice is intended to help us make the most of the benefits of our workforce’s diversity, for improved and better healthcare provision.

The plan sets out immediate and minimum actions for pharmacy professional leaders at all levels and in all care settings to consider, including developing their understanding of the benefits of diverse teams and culturally competent healthcare service delivery; and ensuring the voices of colleagues from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background are represented and heard in decision-making forums at all levels.

The plan and covering letter have been published on the Royal Pharmaceutical Society and Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK websites.

As part of our aim to deliver more a responsive pharmacy workforce equipped with the skills to deliver a clinical service across all care settings and adapt to new ways of working, we are working to enhance current foundation pharmacist training (formerly known as pre-registration training), creating an education system which is sustainable to meet future patient needs.

Our work on training for foundation trainee pharmacists starts with developing more appropriate systems of recruitment and selection, and leads onto enhanced workplace support for the designated supervisor (formerly pre-reg tutor) and trainee pharmacist.

It is therefore essential that foundation trainee pharmacist recruitment and selection is reliable, valid, acceptable, feasible, cost effective, fair and has a positive impact on education, training and quality. A new National Recruitment Scheme for foundation trainee pharmacists was introduced in 2017, aligning with the process used for recruiting other healthcare professionals across the NHS.

The scheme is used to recruit all hospital posts, the majority of community pharmacy posts and many hundreds of posts that include at least three months’ training in General Practice. Selection is founded on evidence-based methods to ensure that trainee pharmacists employed to provide NHS services possess the values required to work within the NHS. 

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