This letter is in response to the news story ‘GPhC set to confirm it will require universities to offer integrated pharmacy programmes’.
The outcomes of the consultation [on the ‘Initial education and training standards for pharmacists’] are very largely in line with the views and aspirations of the Pharmacy Schools Council (PhSC), including the need to produce graduates with a high level of clinical competence and patient empathy, while also recognising the vital role of underpinning science and engagement with new technologies.
We also welcome the collaborative tone of the General Pharmaceutical Council’s (GPhC’s) commentary and the recognition that the pressing issue of continuity between the undergraduate degree and the preregistration year (and beyond) is one that has to be realised via a partnership between stakeholders.
The idea of higher education institutions being involved in sign-off at the point of registration is worth exploring further; obviously, there are significant logistical considerations involved (not least capacity, compatibility with university regulations, and liability), and the PhSC would be happy to enter into discussions with the GPhC on whether and how this could realistically be achieved.
Duncan Craig, chair, Pharmacy Schools Council