NHS England to fund additional 3,000 independent prescriber places for 2024/2025

There will be funding for independent prescribing places for community pharmacy, hospital and general practice, according to a presentation by the chief pharmaceutical officer for England at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress.
david webb

NHS England will fund an additional 3,000 independent prescriber (IP) training places during 2024/2025 “across all sectors of practice”, David Webb, chief pharmaceutical officer for England, has said.

Webb’s presentation at the Clinical Pharmacy Congress, held at the Excel, London, on 10 May 2024, revealed that, in the 2022/2023 academic year, 2,467 pharmacists successfully completed an IP qualification in England.

Webb highlighted that, in March 2024, there were 14,945 pharmacists with an IP annotation on the General Pharmaceutical Council register in England, an increase from 12,529 pharmacists during the same period in the previous year. This means that 27% of registered pharmacists in England have an IP annotation, according to Webb.

In April 2022, Health Education England tendered contracts, worth up to £13m in total, for providers to deliver IP training to more than 3,000 pharmacists between September 2022 and March 2023.

“NHS England will continue to fund IP places in 2024/2025, with 3,000 additional places for community pharmacy, the NHS hospital sector and primary care networks/general practice”, Webb’s presentation showed. It added that details of the training places would be “coming soon”.

From summer 2026, all newly registered pharmacists will be qualified to prescribe independently. Webb’s slide said: “This next generation of pharmacists will help the NHS meet urgent demand for increased clinical skills for clinical care, prevention of ill health, and optimal outcomes from medicines.”

“All pharmacists will be trained to the same enhanced clinical level on registration, creating a more flexible workforce, which will make it easier to move between sectors,” it added.

Webb’s presentation also stated that an additional 500 places for training designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs) and education supervisors will be made available for 2024/2025, via pharmacy workforce training provider ProPharmace.

In September 2023, NHS England awarded ProPharmace a contract, worth £500,000, to train 500 community pharmacists to become DPPs by the end of March 2024.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, May 2024, Vol 312, No 7985;312(7985)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2024.1.314189

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