Designated prescribing practitioners in primary care to be funded under ARRS scheme

Liz Fidler, senior adviser on pharmacy technicians at NHS England, also announced planned growth in trainee pharmacy technician apprenticeships.
Pharmacy technician and supervisor

Designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs) will be able to be funded for primary care networks (PCNs) under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS), a senior NHS England figure has said.

Speaking at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress, held at ExCeL London on 9 and 10 May 2024, Liz Fidler, senior adviser on pharmacy technicians at NHS England, presented a slide that said that the role could be funded under the “direct patient contact” element of the ARRS.

ARRS funding would also be available for clinical pharmacist designated supervisors, pharmacy technician educational supervisors and pharmacy technician apprentice roles, she said.

The slide said there would be “new access to ARRS funding for PCNs through the direct patient care category, with the support of PCNs and [integrated care boards] for pharmacy technician apprentices and educational supervisor roles”.

“NHS England is currently producing further guidance on the option, which is available to roles that are not medical or nursing and can be up to 8D in banding,” it added.

All pharmacist foundation training placements from 2025/2026 will require a named DPP as part of the shift in training standards, which mean that all newly registered pharmacists will qualify as independent prescribers when they join the register from summer 2026.

Foundation-year trainees will be expected to carry out 90 hours of direct learning in a prescribing environment while being supervised by a DPP from 2025/2026, a change that has led to concerns over whether there will be sufficient DPPs to cover all foundation-year trainees.

Nick Thayer, head of policy at the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA), said: “The CCA has raised concerns with colleagues at NHS England about the short supply of DPPs.

“Unfortunately we do not share NHS England’s confidence that there are enough DPPs to ensure all pharmacy graduates can find a foundation placement.

“We look forward to reading the detail of any new proposals from NHS England to address this growing risk.”

In her presentation, Fidler also presented a slide which said there would also be a planned growth in trainee pharmacy technician apprenticeships.

“With the growing expansion of pharmacy technicians, we need to ensure a consistent offer,” she told delegates.

“We are hoping to announce an opportunity to grow the pharmacy technician workforce via the pharmacy technician apprenticeship route.”

Fidler said more details were due to be announced soon.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.315375

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