Another 3,000 funded independent prescriber (IP) training places will be available for pharmacists in England from April 2023, Health Education England (HEE) has announced.
The funding, announced on 22 February 2023, expands on the almost 3,000 places announced in 2022, worth around £2,000 each, which were made available for courses starting between September 2022 and March 2023.
The training places will be open to pharmacists in all sectors, who have a designated prescribing practitioner (DPP) and work in an “appropriate practice-based learning environment in a prescribing setting that can offer appropriate clinical support”.
The courses, which will be offered at a range of universities across the country, will be available between April 2023 and March 2024.
Applications are open now and should be made directly to the university hosting the course.
Pharmacists enrolled on the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) and who meet the PCPEP criteria to enrol on an independent prescribing course can also apply.
Alan Ryan, deputy chief operating officer for HEE, said: “I am delighted to confirm an additional year of fully funded independent prescribing places for pharmacists for 2023/24.
“Supporting the existing pharmacy workforce to train as IPs is so important — so we have the workforce to develop and deliver new models of prescribing services in pharmacy, and so we continue to support pharmacists to skill-up in line with the reform of the Initial Education and Training of Pharmacists.”
A statement from Bruce Warner, deputy chief pharmaceutical officer at NHS England, said: “From September 2026, all newly qualified pharmacists will be IPs on the day of registration, and this increase in the places for existing pharmacists, including locums, makes this crucial opportunity more widely available across the whole network.”
In November 2021, HEE announced that £15.9m would be invested over four years through the pharmacy integration fund to support pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with professional career development, including IP training.
On 19 January 2023, The Pharmaceutical Journal revealed that integrated care system leaders have been sent emails inviting them “to submit an expression of interest that is supported by their integrated care board” to join a ‘pathfinder’ programme by the end of February 2023 to trial the first independent pharmacist prescribing service to be fully funded by NHS England.