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Pharmacy integration fund

The NHS is working to ensure that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians play an increasingly visible and expanded role in improving outcomes and value from medicines for patients across our communities.

With the support of NHS England’s Pharmacy Integration Fund (PhIF) we have developed a programme of innovative, flexible and accessible education and training which aims to strengthen and diversify the pharmacy workforce to support better outcomes for patients. The aim is to make the most of the clinical skills of pharmacy professionals as part of new, multi-disciplinary healthcare teams, supporting locally-delivered integrated care models.

There are several strands to this work for engaging and transforming the pharmacy workforce:

  • Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists in GP practices, care homes and integrated urgent care / NHS111 hubs aligned to specific programmes

Pharmacy Technicians working in London and the South East are eligible for a place on fully funded Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician (ACPT) training.

This training, specifically for pharmacy technicians working in community pharmacy, meets the National Occupational Standard and the National Framework for Accuracy Checking. It is provided by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education.

Learners will complete a blended learning programme and are required to take a summative assessment, with colleagues from hospital pharmacy. PhIF funding allows them one attempt at this. They have up to a year to complete the programme and will need to be supported whilst undertaking the course by an Educational Supervisor.

Successful Community Pharmacy Technicians will then be able to perform the final accuracy check of dispensed items on prescriptions clinically approved by a pharmacist. Eligibility criteria, information about applying and the Educational Supervisor requirements can be found on CPPE’s website. The PhIF funding for this pilot programme will end in September 2018.

The NHS Leadership Academy, as part of Health Education England, is working in collaboration with the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE), to offer the Mary Seacole leadership development programme to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working in community pharmacy.

This NHS-led flagship programme is designed to develop leadership and management skills enabling pharmacy professionals to drive the provision of quality services in community pharmacy and really make a difference to the health of the patients.

A new pilot community pharmacy technician training programme has been launched in the West Midlands.

The pilot, which is run by Coventry University and supported by Coventry LPC (Local Pharmaceutical Committee), will enable registered community pharmacy technicians to develop their professional and leadership roles within community pharmacy, alongside targeted workforce and organisational development.

It will run until December 2018, and the outputs will inform the next steps for rollout of training and education nationally from 2018/19. More information can be found on Coventry University’s website or in our factsheet.

Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians working in community pharmacy settings are being offered fully-funded training through the Pharmacy Integration Fund to support them in their roles to develop skills to allow greater integration with the NHS locally.  HEE is offering training to support pharmacists working with local primary care providers in supporting patients in a care home setting. 

This initiative will see care home training for up to 600 clinical pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through an 18-month workplace-based model to enable them to improve and support the delivery of multi-disciplinary care in care home settings. This could include care settings for mental health, children and young people.  

Both residential and nursing care homes within Sustainability and Transformation partnership (STP) and Integrated Care Systems areas across England will be part of the programme. Clinical Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians will be recruited by local providers, commissioned by a lead Clinical Care Group, who will receive funding from NHS England.

Newly appointed pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be directed by their employers on how to enroll on the training programme which will be delivered nationally by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education.

Upon completion, pharmacy professionals will be able to work with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver medicines optimisation for the benefit of patients, as part of an integrated multi-disciplinary team. Clinical pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will be embedded within care homes and they will become fully integrated members of the clinical multi-disciplinary team in a patient facing role to clinically assess and treat patients using their expert knowledge of medicines for specific disease areas. prescribing and seek to improve problematic polypharmacy, safe medicines use and patient outcomes. 

Read the factsheet.

HEE has launched a training programme to support pharmacists working  in a virtual contact centre environment such as NHS111 or Integrated  Urgent Care clinical assessment service settings. 

Pharmacists new to working in these environments are being offered up to 12 months of fully-funded training to support them in their  roles.

The training aligns with the new NHS England Integrated Urgent Care service specification, and the newly developed IUC/NHS111 Workforce Blueprint and careers framework.    

It will enable them to lead on person-centred medicines optimisation in a virtual acute  setting, helping to improve the access and delivery of urgent care and enhance the quality of care and patient safety.  They will also complete an Independent Prescribing course where this meets the service need.

The training will be delivered by the University of Derby through a blended learning platform, offering a mixture of online and face to face learning. There will be an induction day, followed by the online learning programme, with opportunities for online or placement visit support. 

The training is open to pharmacists new to working in a virtual urgent environment such as NHS111 or an Integrated Urgent Care setting for a minimum of 0.4WTE.     

Once employers have appointed the pharmacist, the individuals will be directed by employers to Derby University's website for course information and to register for enrolment by emailing IUC@derby.ac.uk.  

All applications will have to be confirmed by the employer and in so doing the employer is also confirming adherence to IUC Pharmacist Programme criteria. 

View the factsheet.

Community pharmacists around the country can now enrol on new, innovative and engaging training at masters-level through the Pharmacy Integration Fund.

The Post-registration Training for Community Pharmacists will provide learning centred around core themes, and includes clinical learning aligned to NHS England’s priorities.

Pharmacists can choose to take a single or range of modules, with different credit values, dependent on their development needs or interests, with a maximum 60 credits per learner per year (60 credits is equivalent to a post graduate certificate).

Provision runs from February 2018 to March 2019 and is for the equivalent of up to 2,000 postgraduate certificates.

View the factsheet. 

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