Community Pharmacy Workforce Development

Tutor Training

We recently secured funding from the national office at Health Education England to offer a preregistration tutor training and development programme to 50 pharmacists working across London and the South East.  The training and development programme is based on a model successfully piloted in Kent Surrey and Sussex for tutors supporting preregistration pharmacist trainees on a GP placement pilot.  

Outcomes from this project will help inform the HEE pharmacy education reform programme which aims to integrate the undergraduate and preregistration programmes. Further trial and evaluation of this tutor training model will help Health Education England to appraise the impact of this training on a wider scale and inform how and what is commissioned in future to ensure that it will be fit for purpose in the new system.

Community Pharmacy

We had an overwhelming response to the invitation to enrol and all 50 places have been filled on the programme, with the introductory study day/s due to be held at the end of April.  This training and development programme has been designed to provide accessible training with a multi-professional element which is available across sectors and we were pleased to see applications from pharmacists from both acute and community sectors.  Joining the pharmacists on the study day/s will be up to 15 candidates from different healthcare professions, including GP, nursing and the allied health professions, for an afternoon workshop that brings together educators from different healthcare professionals to explore what it takes to develop and support learning in a multidisciplinary educational environment.  

There has been a very positive response from other healthcare professionals wanting to be involved in this pilot workshop and this is indicative of the increased recognition of multiprofessional education drivers and the need for increased collaboration in education across health and social care.

If you would like further information on about this training and development opportunity, please contact Zehra Safdar who is the project manager for this initiative on behalf of the Health Education England London and South East geography team.

Health Champions

A successful programme of recruitment in South London has so far trained over 800 frontline pharmacy staff to be Health Champions. This network is helping to deliver and support public health initiatives within the local population; more information can be found on the South London Healthy Champions website.

This programme has recently been extended to the KSS geography. Approximately 200 staff members have been recruited so far, with training being rolled out in localities once sufficient numbers have signed up. Recruitment is on-going and an end target of 600 trained individuals is planned. It is hoped that these Champions will form local networks to collectively deliver public health messages to their populations, providing a unified message and highlighting the role of pharmacy as the first port of call for patients seeking healthcare help and advice.  

A similar programme is seeking to train 200 Health Champions in North West London, further extending this initiative across the London and South East region.

Community Pharmacy Workforce mapping

We wanted to better understand the current numbers and skill mix in the community pharmacy workforce in order to plan future investment in education.  The research was initiated by the HEE KSS Pharmacy Workforce Group which represents all sectors of pharmacy practice (covering community pharmacy employers’ small to large).

We have the new remit of supporting the professional practice development of the whole workforce providing NHS services within their region. Although the makeup of the workforce for the services directly managed by the NHS (such as the hospital sector) is readily available, knowledge of the workforce supplying many primary care services, such as community pharmacies, is much less well understood.  In particular, more information is needed on skill mix, skill sets and geographical spread. In order for us to properly plan investments in education commissioning, it needs to understand the demand and supply in relation to the workforce. This survey was therefore designed to scope the community pharmacy workforce in KSS.

Download the full report below.