Health Education England (HEE) has been tasked with training 500 clinical pharmacists for roles in general practice by the end of 2019/2020, the Department of Health and Social Care has said in its annual mandate to the education body.
The mandate for 2019/2020, published on 11 July 2019, said the target will provide support for “the wider expansion and transformation of primary care, including the objective for every primary care network to have a dedicated clinical pharmacist”.
The additional clinical pharmacists will be trained to supplement the “over 1,000 full-time equivalent clinical pharmacists” already working in general practice as part of the Clinical Pharmacists in General Practice scheme, which closed on 30 April 2019 ahead of the implementation of primary care networks (PCNs).
Under the PCN contract with NHS England, each of the 1,259 networks is expected have one clinical pharmacist on staff from July 2019 with those on the NHS’s clinical pharmacist scheme transferring over to work in their local PCN.
PCNs will be given funding to recruit more than one clinical pharmacist from 2020/2021, with the expectation that a typical network of 50,000 patients could have a team of six whole-time equivalent clinical pharmacists by 2023/2024.
Prior to the implementation of PCNs, NHS England had committed to providing 2,000 clinical pharmacists in general practice by 2020/2021.