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Independent Prescribing

The ability to independently prescribe is crucial for pharmacists delivering care across the NHS. Working with our partners and stakeholders, we are developing funded training offers for pharmacists aiming to become independent prescribers.

Training will enable the provision of new models of care: supporting patients from diagnosis to prescribing, providing advice and follow-up, and preparing pharmacists to provide clinical care, as pharmacy services become more widespread within emerging clinical pathways.

New for Autumn 2022

Applications for the Autumn 2022 training offers for 2022/2023 are now open.

Almost 3,000 Independent prescribing courses will be available to pharmacists who meet the required eligibility criteria:

  1. Community pharmacists (including locum pharmacists); Pharmacists employed in General Practice (who are not eligible for, or enrolled on, the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Programme (PCPEP) and those who are working to provide primary care services (e.g., working in primary care) who are not employed in ARRS roles); and Health and Justice pharmacists
  2. Pharmacists enrolled on CPPE’s Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) and meet the PCPEP criteria to enrol on an Independent Prescribing Course
  3. Pharmacists working in an NHS Hospital Trust or Mental Health Trust (NHS managed sector); pharmacists working in an integrated care board, ICB (previously CCG pharmacists)

Courses will be available from September 2022 to March 2023, with several universities offering multiple dates for cohort intakes.

University providers are now taking applications. Don’t miss out – check your eligibility and apply now.

If you would like to be added to our distribution list for future information, please register your interest.

    Eligibility

    Eligible pharmacists will also need to have (as a minimum):

    • The support of an identified designated prescribing practitioner (DPP).
    • An appropriate practice-based learning environment in a prescribing setting that can offer appropriate clinical support.
    • Evidence that you meet the course provider eligibility criteria (applicants will be subject to their chosen university’s enrolment processes).
    • Commitment to use the skill within your area of competence and expertise, for the delivery of NHS clinical services as they emerge.

    If you would like to know more about the General Pharmaceutical Council’s eligibility criteria, please visit the GPhC website.

    HEIs – cohort start dates

    Cohorts will start from September 2022, with several cohort start dates available depending on the university provider.

    As an overview, eligible pharmacists can apply to the following university providers (click on the tiles below for more information). University providers are broken down by sector – please note the university providers differ depending on the sector you work in:

    Pharmacy Integration Programme – Approved Suppliers

    Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) – Approved Suppliers

    NHS Managed Sector - Approved Suppliers

    For more information, please see the Frequently Asked Questions below.

    Designated Prescribing Practitioner (DPP)

    A DPP is a healthcare professional in Great Britain or Northern Ireland with legal independent prescribing rights (an annotation or automatic right to prescribe) who will mentor and supervise the pharmacist during the period of learning in practice.

    The role of DPP encompasses a range of healthcare professionals and includes designated medical practitioners (DMP). The DPP must be suitably experienced and qualified to carry out this supervisory role and have demonstrated continuous professional development or revalidation relevant to this role. The personal characteristics, professional skills, knowledge, teaching and training required to be a DPP are described in the RPS Competency Framework for Designated Prescribing Practitioners.

    The responsibility is on the pharmacist to identify a suitable DPP. We are developing further guidance on finding a DPP and suitable learning environment. We will share this as soon as it becomes available. 

    For individual DPP queries please contact the university you wish to apply to from the HEE list of approved universities.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Please contact the national pharmacy team at pharmacyteam@hee.nhs.uk with any additional questions.

    Who is eligible for funded training?

    Please check your eligibility against the following:

    Group 1 (Pharmacy Integration Programme – PhIP)

    • Community pharmacists (including locum pharmacists)
    • Pharmacists employed in General Practice who are not eligible for, or enrolled on, the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Programme (PCPEP)
    • Pharmacists working to provide primary care services (e.g., working in primary care) who are not employed in ARRS roles 
    • Health and Justice pharmacists   

    If you are unsure if you are employed via the ARRS please contact your employer. Further information on ARRS roles can be found here.

    Group 2 - PCPEP

    • You need to be enrolled on CPPE’s Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) and meet the PCPEP criteria to enrol on an Independent Prescribing Course.  

    You can also apply if you have completed or are completing the CPPE Clinical pharmacists in general practice pathway or the CPPE Medicines optimisation in care homes pathway if you meet the eligibility criteria. For further information, please visit the CPPE website.

    Group 3 - NHS Managed sector

    • Pharmacist working in an NHS Hospital Trust or Mental Health Trust (NHS managed sector)
    • Pharmacists working in an integrated care board, ICB (previously CCG pharmacists)

    Is every region eligible for the NHS managed sector offer?

    No. The North East and Yorkshire and North West are not included in the national provision for group 3 – access for funded places will be via the usual commissioning routes. For further information please contact your local NMP lead or if you need further information medicinesoptimisation.north@hee.nhs.uk 

    Please see the following table [Word document download] with eligibility for each region.

    I work as a hospital pharmacist, am I able to apply?

    Pharmacists working in an NHS Hospital Trust can access this funding. You will need to speak with workforce/education and training leads within your organisation to check the internal process before applying.

    If you are based within the North East and Yorkshire or North West please speak with your workforce/NMP lead or email medicinesoptimisation.north@hee.nhs.uk to discuss available funding routes.

    I work as a pharmacist for a community mental health trust am I able to apply?

    Pharmacists working in a Mental Health Trust can access this funding. You will need to speak with workforce/education and training leads within your organisation to check the internal process before applying.

    If you are based within the North East and Yorkshire or North West please speak with your workforce/NMP lead or email medicinesoptimisation.north@hee.nhs.uk to discuss available funding routes.

    Is the funding available if I am a pharmacist who works in a non-patient facing role?

    Yes. You will need to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria to apply. You will need a DPP that is in a patient-facing role with up-to-date patient-facing, clinical and diagnostic skills, and evidence of demonstrating competence in an area of practice relevant to you as the trainee. You will need a patient-facing setting in which to complete your prescribing training.

    Am I able to access the funding if I work part time?

    Yes, you will be able to access this funding if you work part time or on a fixed term contract. You will need your organisation/employer to agree to you to undertake the course prior to application.

    If you work part-time in different sectors, i.e. community pharmacy and PCN, you will be eligible for funding depending on what Group you fall into. For example, if you are eligible for funding under Group 2 (PCPEP), you will not be eligible for funding under Group 1.

    Do I need to have a defined prescribing role within community pharmacy to be eligible?
     
    No. Pharmacists working in community pharmacy will not require a defined prescribing role/access to a prescribing budget to be eligible. This training is to support workforce transformation, and capability to support potential future NHS clinical services in the community pharmacy sector. Pharmacists will still need to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria for application.

    I am employed as a pharmacist by an ICB (previously known as CCG) to provide primary care services to hospices and community hospitals, am I able to apply?

    Yes. Pharmacists based in ICBs (previously CCG pharmacists) are included as eligible in group 3 (NHS Managed Sector).

    Pharmacists will still need to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria for application. You will need to speak with your organisation to check the internal process before applying.

    How do I apply?

    Applications for the Autumn 2022 training offers for 2022/2023 are now open. University providers are now taking applications please check you meet the eligibility criteria and apply now.

    Courses will be available from September 2022 to March 2023, with several universities offering multiple dates for cohort intakes.

    Please see our flow chart on next steps for application

    Am I able to apply to a university in a different part of the country to where I live?

    Yes, HEE hasn’t placed any restrictions on where learners can apply. You can therefore apply to a university that is in a different region to where you live or work if it suits your needs best.

    I’m concerned about the cut-off date for applications and missing out on an opportunity to apply.

    Providers will have different cohort dates and cut-off dates for application and may extend deadlines for the autumn cohorts, so there isn’t a single known deadline yet. You will be able to apply for the next cohort which will be most suitable for you.

    I am less than two years qualified, am I able to apply for a funded IP place?

    The implementation date for the changes to the requirements for entry to independent prescriber courses will be confirmed once the GPhC has approved the guidance for course providers,this will not be in place until Autumn 2022 at the earliest. Please see this recent update from the GPhC.

    For Group 2, PCPEP applications funding must be authorised by CPPE –how will the University receive this authorisation from CPPE to ensure my course is funded?

    CPPE have advised that they are using a new system this year to authorise IP places for people who have completed CPGP, MOCH or PCPEP pathways.  You will apply for authorisation via the CPPE website, PCPEP independent prescribing section  and the authorisation will be personalised with the course and date chosen. Application to study IP can then be made if the chosen university provider is listed on this page

    For further information, please visit the CPPE website.

    If I am due to complete the PCPEP pathway this summer, will I still be eligible to apply for a September cohort for IP training?

    CPPE will contact learners who have completed the pathway as soon as the University list is published to let them know how to apply for funding via the new CPPE process. Pathway learners who want to apply for early IP will need to complete an application via the new CPPE process. IP applications will open when we have the list of providers from HEE. Criteria are on PCPEP canvas. You will need to complete a reflective account as part of your application, so we encourage you to make a start on this now.

    Will I need to have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) in place to apply?
     
    Yes. You will be expected to have suitable supervision arrangements in place, prior to applying for training. You will need to demonstrate that you have the support of an identified DPP, and an appropriate placement arranged for practice-based learning.

    How do I find a suitable DPP?
     
    We would advise you to consider who you might be able to approach locally. For example, do you have a good working relationship with a local GP/primary care network (PCN)/hospital trust who would be prepared to support you? You may be able to obtain further advice or support from colleagues who are prescribers, the community pharmacist lead for your Primary Care Network (PCN)or your local Primary Care Training Hub.

    Am I able to have a DPP who works in a different setting to me?

    It is good practice to have appropriate clinical support within the same setting, however we understand that this is not always possible. The DPP can provide supervised learning within a clinical area that you have suitable expertise within and access to an associated patient cohort. Individual universities providing funded places will be able to advise on specific scenarios.

    I am a potential DPP, how do I find out what information I need from my prospective trainee?

    Course providers will be required to provide clear information to employers and prospective DPPs on how to identify whether a prospective learner is able and capable to proceed with the independent prescribing course. Please refer to the list of course providers on this website.

    Does HEE provide funding to the DPP?
     
    No payment will be available for the employer and/or the DPP to undertake the supervision.
     
    We will fund only the course fees at any of the course providers selected to provide training from Autumn 2022.

    How will funding be distributed across the different sectors? Will one sector have more funding than another?

    There are a set number of places that have been commissioned for each learner group.

    Applications for the Autumn 2022 training offers for 2022/2023 are now open. University providers are now taking applications please check you meet the eligibility criteria and apply now. Courses will be available from September 2022 to March 2023, with several universities offering multiple dates for cohort intakes.

    I am interested in further developing my clinical skills. As CEPIP isn’t part of this offer, what support is there from HEE?

    For colleagues interested in developing enhanced or advanced clinical skills, it is worth contacting your Regional Faculty for advancing practice, who will be able to signpost you to Advanced Level Training. Please also refer to the new RPS Advanced Practice framework

    For more information please visit the following website

    Will this funding form part of the new Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists (IETP) Reform?   

    No. This funding offer is separate to the IETP and is for eligible registered pharmacists.  

    Learn more about IETP.