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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, the NHS England investment of £15.9m was confirmed 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 2024/25

LIVE OFFER: Community pharmacy technician: advancing your role 2024/25

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

LIVE OFFER: Independent prescribing for pharmacists 2024/25

About the Pharmacy Integration Programme

We have worked to identify workforce training needs and used this evidence to develop a range of education and training offers and initiatives as part of the 2021-24 Pharmacy Integration Programme. This programme continues through 2024-25.

All offers are based on a combination of identified workforce need and the evidence arising from education and training programmes delivered during the 2017- 2024 Pharmacy Integration Programme. Find out more about the evaluation of the 2017-2021 learning pathways 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

Training places with start dates from April 2024 – March 2025 are shown on individual University websites. Discuss with your preferred provider. Check your eligibility and apply now.

As a minimum, pharmacists will need to have:

  • 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.

*We are currently in the process of finalising the arrangements for Independent Prescribing course provision in 2024/25. We are expecting to release details of funded places during Summer 2024. Details of providers and intakes in 2024/25 will be listed on our website in due course.

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 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 is 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

We recognise that access to clinical, education and prescribing supervision is a key challenge facing the pharmacy workforce.

Two fully funded Supervisor training programmes for those supervising the pharmacy workforce have been made available.

This training will ensure those involved in education supervision, including Designated Supervisors and Designated Prescribing Practitioners, are confident to provide support and developmental aid to the pharmacy workforce.

For more information, please visit Supervisor Training.

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.

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

For Pharmacists:

We have worked with key stakeholders to develop a framework for pharmacists working in General Practice, to evidence where their practice meets the RPS Post-registration foundation curriculum outcomes. This will support pharmacists in the early stages of their career in General Practice.

Whilst some examples of evidence have been provided, this is not exhaustive. We encourage you to use the framework, make changes as needed and share if required with colleagues, but ask that you reference the original document and its creators (noted below) in any subsequent versions you create.

Many thanks to the contributors of this work, particularly:

  • NHS Sussex
  • Primary Care Pharmacy Association
  • Centre for Pharmacy Post-graduate Education (CPPE)

General Practice Pharmacist Foundation Framework.

For Pharmacy Technicians

Expanding the number of approved training programmes 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