Health Education England (HEE) has announced the expansion of a preregistration training pilot scheme that offers trainee pharmacists the opportunity to split their time between general practice and community or hospital pharmacy.
HEE is seeking expressions of interest from general practices and pharmacy employers willing to join together to provide a shared pharmacist preregistration training year starting in the 2020–2021 academic year.
The extension comes after HEE achieved a 90% fill rate for the pilot scheme, which is due to start in the summer of 2019 and will enable preregistration pharmacists to undertake an extended rotation in a GP practice.
In a guidance document for prospective host sites, HEE said: “Owing to the enthusiasm shown by all involved and the ongoing requirement to deliver integrated training that produces the skilled and talented clinicians the NHS, patients and the public need, the project is being extended and expanded for those entering training in 2020–2021.”
In a joint comment, the HEE pharmacy deans and the national lead for the GP preregistration pharmacist pilot, Stephen Doherty, said they were “delighted” to secure HEE funding to continue to test and develop cross-sector training placements for preregistration pharmacists.
“This will further support the development of pharmacists to work across the NHS, especially in general practice, as described in the ‘NHS Long Term Plan’,” they said.
Under the expanded scheme, preregistration pharmacists will spend 13–26 weeks in general practice during the training year.
This can either be carried out in one block or split between general practice and either community or hospital pharmacy.
To be eligible to apply, general practices must employ a clinical pharmacist in a patient facing role and, in order to satisfy General Pharmaceutical Council requirements, the clinical pharmacist must have been registered for at least three years from when the trainee starts the programme.
The trainee will be employed by the community pharmacy or hospital pharmacy partner to facilitate the payment of a training grant worth £18,440, or salary support worth 75% of a band 5 salary plus hiring costs, in secondary care.
Expressions of interest by GP practice and pharmacy partnerships need to be completed by 18:00 on 13 February 2019. All posts that are part of the project must be recruited through Oriel — the national recruitment system for preregistration pharmacists — and all successful partnerships will need to enter their placements into the Oriel system by 1 March 2019.