A proportion of pharmacy trainees may eventually have to fund their own preregistration placements, says England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge.
Ridge told a pharmacy education conference, organised by the General Pharmaceutical Council on 10 November 2015, that he believes the current uncapped level of preregistration trainees, particularly in community pharmacy, is unsustainable in the current fiscal environment.
He made the comments in response to a question from Stephen Messham, communications officer of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA), who asked what each of the four countries of the UK planned to do to ensure all pharmacy graduates can secure a preregistration placement.
“The NHS will hire a certain number of pharmacists and have a certain number of preregistration places and that therefore means there will be some degree of competition,” Ridge said, adding, “that doesn’t stop graduates who are seeking a preregistration [placement] paying for themselves, because I can see that that is where we are going to end up at some point along this journey.”
The BPSA says it does not support a future in which preregistration trainees are funding their own training placements.
“There is already negativity within the profession that threatens the morale of future generations,” it says. “Suggesting that preregistration trainees are not valuable enough assets in the workforce to warrant funded training will further demoralise the workforce of tomorrow.”
The BPSA is scheduled to meet with Ridge and representatives from Health Education England later in November 2015.