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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 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.

LIVE OFFER: Educational supervisor training for the community pharmacy workforce 2023/24

LIVE OFFER: Community pharmacy technician: advancing your role 2023/24

LIVE OFFER: Clinical examination skills for community pharmacists 2023/24

LIVE OFFER: Independent prescribing for pharmacists 2023/24

About the Pharmacy Integration Programme

We are working to identify workforce training needs and using this evidence to develop a range of education and training offers and initiatives as part of the 2021-24 Pharmacy Integration Programme. 

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:

Clinical examination skills training for community pharmacists

Registration is open now for new clinical skills training for community pharmacists. This flexible training offer is designed to help community pharmacists build on their existing clinical examination and consultation skills – to assess, treat and manage common health problems.  

The training consists of a pre-required online gateway module on history taking and identification of serious conditions, and four optional clinical modules. These four modules cover four key themes: dermatology, cardiology, paediatrics, and ear, nose and throat.  

The module content will be delivered online using a flexible and responsive eLearning system, with optional face-to-face attendance for those who would find this beneficial. 

The training is designed to be complementary to independent prescribing training and can be completed prior to or after independent prescribing training courses.   

This fully funded offer is available until March 2024 for community pharmacists, including part time staff and locums. 

To register and find out more about the training visit the CliniSkills website.

Independent Prescribing

Applications for training places with start dates up to March 2024 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.

We are currently in the process of reviewing funded training provision after March 2024 and further details of providers and cohorts will be listed on our website when available.

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

Community pharmacy technician: advancing your role

This new training offer will support pharmacy technicians to develop the knowledge and clinical skills required to deliver highly effective clinical services in community pharmacy. This training will enable pharmacy technicians to support clinical service expansion and increase patient access to clinical services.

The training will be available as several modules and is intended to be flexible in its design, to accommodate the working patterns of pharmacy technicians in community pharmacy.

To find out more and apply, visit the CPPE website

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 prescribing supervision is a key challenge facing the pharmacy workforce, particularly in community settings.

In addition to the reforms to the initial education and training of pharmacists, there is a clear need to support the existing pharmacist workforce to complete post-registration independent prescribing training, which requires increased prescribing supervision capacity.

Work to date has focused on the following areas:

  1. Improving information and communication for and with potential Independent Prescribers and their supervisors
  2. Exploring the consistency of approach to the supervision of IP learners by IP course providers
  3. Sharing examples of novel models of supervision of IP learners in practice

For more information, please visit Supervision for Pharmacist Independent Prescriber Training.

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

For Pharmacists:

We are working with key stakeholders and colleagues in primary care to develop a  formal portfolio recognition route for pharmacists contributing to primary care services in general practice.

For Pharmacy Technicians

Expanding the number of approved training programmes to support pharmacy technicians in primary care

We have been working with the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) to increase access to approved training for pharmacy technicians in Primary Care.

In winter 2022/23, it was agreed that education provisions mapped and approved by APTUK as meeting the National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians would be deemed one of the approved training pathways as detailed in the Network Contract Directed Enhanced Service.

NHS England are funding up to four training programmes to be mapped and approved by APTUK as meeting the requirements of the National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians.

This will allow up to four existing training programmes to be recognised as meeting the quality standards required to support pharmacy technicians in primary care.

A training programme for pharmacy technicians working in primary care

In winter 2023, we offered 100 funded places on the GP Pharmacy Technician Medicines Optimisation Training Programme delivered by Pharmacy Workforce Development South. Places were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis to pharmacy technicians who met the required eligibility criteria.

The GP Pharmacy Technician Training Programme supports pharmacy technicians to demonstrate that they can safely deploy the knowledge, skills and behaviours required for safe practice, relevant to their role, and provides the assurance needed for safe delegation of tasks and practice autonomy.

The programme is primarily aimed at pharmacy technicians who are predominantly working within a GP setting and is approved against the UK-wide APTUK/PCPA National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians.

Visit Pharmacy Workforce Development South to find out more.

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?

Please contact: england.pharmacyteam@nhs.net