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Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway

The Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway was developed in response to the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS People Plan, with the aim of providing care for people with severe mental illness in new models of integrated primary and community care. 

Applications for cohort 3 of the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway are now open.

The application form and information can be found on the University of Bradford website: Study Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway.

The deadline is 22 Feb 2024 to commence study from 19 March.

This investment in the future mental health pharmacist workforce contributes to:  

  • Delivering the NHS Long Term Plan’s commitment on community mental health transformation
  • Supporting the creation of new roles in mental health pharmacy
  • Equipping pharmacists with key skills for the new models of integrated primary and community mental health care for adults and older adults with moderate to severe mental health problems
  • Developing a specialist pharmacy workforce and NHS leadership

About the pathway 

The Specialist Mental Health Training Pathway was developed with key national stakeholders to support the development of up to 50 pharmacists working in new roles. There is a commitment to providing up to 200 mental health pharmacist training places in 2023 and 2024. These new roles are a key part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) within new models of integrated primary and community mental health care – for adults and older adults with severe mental health problems.  

The pathway consists of a tailored 12-month programme aimed at experienced pharmacists working in community mental health teams. The pathway aims to further develop pharmacists’ knowledge of; medicines optimisation, initiation and personalisation particularly of medication for patients with complex co-morbidities and will therefore have a key role in improving physical health outcomes for people with severe mental illness. The training pathway supports the journey to advanced level practice for pharmacists. Find out more in Frequently Asked Questions.

Who is delivering the training?

Training is provided by the University of Bradford, who will work alongside Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the pathway to support the journey to advanced level practice for experienced pharmacists.  

Who is eligible?

Candidates enrolling in this programme must:

  • be an experienced pharmacist registered with the GPhC
  • be working within a community/primary care mental health team (CMHT)
  • be working with patients with severe mental illness
  • be employed within the NHS, or through an NHS commissioned mental health service
  • have a written declaration of support from their line manager
  • have agreed ongoing work-based educational supervision/clinical supervision from a mental health specialist employed by a mental health provider organisation
  • complete the programme application form
  • agree to undertake a gateway training needs analysis, facilitated by the education provider, at the beginning of the programme.

Keep engaged

Join the Mental Health Pharmacy community of practice on the NHS Future Collaboration workspace. This online forum has been created to support colleagues working across the adult and older adult mental health sector. The platform aims to bring together resources and information to support the delivery of the adult and older adults’ mental health programme.

The NHS Long Term Plan and People Plan states that integrated models of primary and community mental health care will support adults and older adults with severe mental illnesses.

The creation of these new community-based mental health pharmacy roles will reinvigorate the overall mental health pharmacist workforce and their mental health expertise will help to spread learning across the new pharmacy workforce.

In 2019, HEE commenced the development of a new training pathway, to train up to 260 Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists in the community by 2024. Specialist Mental Health Pharmacists work as part of Multi-Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) and are responsible for medicines optimisation for people with severe mental health problems – particularly those with complex co-morbid physical health problems. By 2023/24 NHS England (NHSE) is committed to employing more mental health pharmacists to work as part of in new models of community-based mental health care for adults and older adults.

In 2022, HEE funded 50 training places as part of the NHS England and NHS Improvement Mental Health Implementation plan 2019-2023/24.

Underpinning work includes a review of innovative and extended roles within mental health pharmacy and a national framework of core mental health competencies for all pharmacy professionals

When does registration open for cohort 3 and when does the programme start?

Registration is open now and closes on 22 February 2024 to commence study from 19 March 2024. To register your interest for a funded training place in 2024, please visit the University of Bradford's website

Who is eligible to join the training pathway?

Pharmacists wishing to join the training pathway must:

- be an experienced pharmacist registered with the GPhC

- be working within a Community/Primary care Mental Health Team (CMHT)

- be working with patients with severe mental illness 

- be employed within the NHS, or through an NHS commissioned mental health service

- have a written declaration of support from their line manager

- have agreed ongoing work-based educational supervision/clinical supervision from a mental health specialist employed by a mental health provider organisation

- complete the programme application form

- agree to undertake a gateway training needs analysis, facilitated by the education provider, at the beginning of the programme.

What is the time commitment? How many days of campus attendance will be required during the course?

The pathways is a tailored, 12-month, online, distance learning programme aimed at experienced pharmacists working in Community Mental Health Teams. No campus attendance will be required. Each learner will be provided with an Educational Supervisor who will initially work with them to complete their training needs analysis and to develop a personalised learning plan. Each learner will meet virtually at least three times over the course of the programme to provide support and guidance. The expected structured learning time is 100 hours for 10 units.

 

Further information regarding the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacy training pathway will be updated to this page. Please direct all questions regarding mental health implementation plan funding to: england.adultmh@nhs.net.