A new “virtual faculty” to co-ordinate multidisciplinary education and training around pharmacy and medicines optimisation has launched across the north of England.
The Health Education England (HEE) North School of Pharmacy and Medicines Optimisation, which officially launched on 17 April 2018, covers the North West, North East and Yorkshire and the Humber. The school aims to develop medicines optimisation skills among healthcare workers involved in prescribing, dispensing or administering medicines.
The school’s strategic plan for 2018–2021 includes the co-ordination of existing education and training infrastructure — for example, the preregistration pharmacy technician training scheme, foundation vocational-based training programmes, advanced practice development for pharmacy, and the commissioning of new training programmes.
“It’s multifaceted,” said Christopher Cutts, pharmacy dean for HEE North. “We will commission new programmes — the school is not a provider. There’ll be courses, new educational leadership posts, new associate dean posts to lead areas of practice, and also an infrastructure of training programme directors at regional level that we can co-ordinate and support.
“It will emulate some of the features you find in medical and dental training.”
The school will work collaboratively with other bodies including the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education, sustainability and transformation partnerships, professional regulators, and further and higher education institutions.
HEE pharmacy and medicines optimisation schools are also being planned for the South and the Midlands and East regions of England. London and the South East, Cutts said, already have established teams doing similar work, which have elected not to describe themselves as a school.