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Pharmacy Integration Programme

Pharmacist and pharmacy technician roles have evolved significantly in response to rapid changes in healthcare and pharmacy practice and there is a growing demand in the NHS for clinical, patient-facing, accountable practitioners across all sectors.

In November 2021, we announced that NHS England and NHS Improvement is investing up to £15.9m to support the expansion of frontline pharmacy professionals in primary care over the next four years, to meet the needs of patients and local communities.

This investment is an exciting opportunity for existing registered pharmacy professionals to access further clinical training, including independent prescribing and clinical skills. Such training will help pharmacy professionals thrive in integrated multi-professional teams across community and primary care settings.

These developments, along with wider reform of pharmacy education and training, respond to identified workforce need, supporting the need for a flexible, integrated, multi-professional workforce, capable of confident, joined-up patient care.

New for Autumn 2022 

Applications for the Autumn 2022 Pharmacist Independent Prescriber training offers are now open.

Independent prescribing courses will be available to pharmacists who meet the required eligibility criteria for the Pharmacy Integration Programme:

  • 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 (for example, working in primary care) who are not employed in ARRS roles).
  • Health and Justice pharmacists

Courses will be available with start dates 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.

Find out more on the Independent Prescribing web page including how to access training if you are pharmacist working in other sectors. 

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

Pharmacy Integration Programme offers

We are working to identify workforce training needs and using this evidence to develop a range of education and training offers as part of the 2021-24 Pharmacy Integration Programme. We will continue to post information about how you can get involved with our research work and how and when our training offers are available. 

All offers are based on a combination of identified workforce need and the evidence arising from education and training programmes delivered during the 2017-2021 Pharmacy Integration Programme. Find out more about evaluation at the bottom of this page.

Current and pending training and development offers include:

New portfolio recognition route and improved access to accredited courses for pharmacy professionals working in primary care

HEE are working with key partners and stakeholders to identify post-registration pharmacy training offers and portfolio recognition processes within primary care. Mapping these against existing practice portfolio recognition and development pathways will lead to:

  • A formal portfolio recognition route for pharmacists contributing to primary care services in general practice.
  • Expanded access to accredited training for pharmacy technicians contributing to primary care services in general practice.

The aim is to ensure that pharmacy professionals have the right post-registration training to enable confident, safe working and career development across sectors.

Independent prescribing:

Applications for the Autumn 2022 training offers for 2022/2023 are now open. Don’t miss out – check your eligibility and apply now.

As a minimum, pharmacists will need to have:

  • The support of an identified designated prescribing practitioner (DPP). A designated medical practitioner (DMP) can also fulfil this role. 
  • An appropriate placement in a prescribing setting, arranged for practice-based learning.
  • Evidence you meet the university eligibility criteria (applicants will be subject to their chosen university’s enrolment processes).
  • Commitment to use the skill for the delivery of NHS services as they emerge.

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

Find out more, including answers to FAQs, on the Independent Prescribing web page

Extending and expanding clinical examination skills training for community pharmacists

Our aim is to support the delivery of clinical consultations in community pharmacy.

Clinical examination skills training equips pharmacists to gather clinical information to support the resolution of minor illness symptoms, medication issues, improve history taking, deliver self-care advice and treatment for patients presenting to community pharmacies, and engage with other emerging clinical service developments.

Working with partners and stakeholders, we have mapped current clinical examination training models against existing professional frameworks. We tested our understanding with frontline pharmacists to inform further provision of training. Thank you to those who completed our survey and attended our stakeholder roundtable in the summer. This enabled us to develop a specification for training delivery across England. We will be launching the nation-wide offer in Winter 2022. To keep informed of this, please sign up to the newsletter.

Increasing access to educational, prescribing, and clinical supervisors for pharmacy professionals working and training across primary care

We recognise that access to clinical, education and restorative supervision is a key challenge facing the multi-professional clinical workforce. Through this programme, interventions will be developed and tested with key stakeholders and user groups to consider how access to high quality supervision will be maintained and expanded, proportionate to workforce growth.

Next steps

We are working with stakeholders across sectors to share information about the Pharmacy Integration Programme and how we can work together to develop the offers.

We will continue to add updates to our web pages for the duration of the programme.

Any questions?

Our slide presentation provides a useful overview of the Pharmacy Integration Programme.  

For any other questions, please contact: pharmacyteam@hee.nhs.uk