NHS England launches first leadership training programme for hundreds of community pharmacists and technicians

Hundreds of community pharmacists and technicians working across the NHS are being offered the opportunity to develop leadership and management skills on a training programme. The six month programme, has been extended for the first time to the community pharmacy sector.

Delivered by the flagship Mary Seacole programme run by NHS Leadership Academy, the six month course has been extended for the first time to 600 pharmacy staff working in the community pharmacy sector. The course is designed to develop participants’ clinical leadership skills to better develop and support the delivery of high quality frontline services to patients and customers. The aim is to support pharmacy professionals to make the best use of their clinical skills to review people’s medicines in GP surgeries, care homes, urgent care and in the community and working as part of an integrated part of the wider healthcare team.

The programme supports the transformation of pharmacy as outlined in the Five Year Forward View. Funded by NHS England’s Pharmacy Integration Fund, it is part of a two-year £15 million package committed to education and development in partnership with Health Education England.

The first course starts in London from today (31 October), with further cohorts beginning across the country in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and the West Midlands from November, followed by 10 other regions. It will allow participants to study flexibly with the majority of learning taking place online in addition to three face-to-face workshops delivered locally.

Deputy Chief Pharmaceutical Officer, Dr Bruce Warner, said: “NHS England is committed to supporting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through investment in education and skills so they can spend more time leading the delivery of high quality clinical care for patients in a variety of integrated primary and urgent care settings. This is a very exciting opportunity for community pharmacy and we hope we get an enthusiastic response.”

Professor Elizabeth Hughes, Director and Dean for Education and Quality, London and South East, Health Education England said: “This is a welcome and timely opportunity for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across the profession to consolidate leadership capability and potential, with the potential to have a real impact on patient experience and outcomes. Developing the leadership potential of individuals is an integral part of ensuring the workforce has the right skills, behaviours and values in an increasingly multi-disciplinary healthcare economy where cross-sector partnership and new ways of working are key to future-proofing the NHS.”

Dedicated funding under the Pharmacy Integration Fund will also enable by March 2018 access to post-registration training and development for community pharmacists, equivalent to 1,000 postgraduate certificates a year up to 2019; a new training pathway for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who work in care homes and pharmacists in integrated urgent care hubs/NHS111; and independent prescribing qualifications for up to 2,000 pharmacists in general practice, NHS111/integrated urgent care and care homes.