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University wins £400,000 to train future pharmacists


Pharmacy student at University of Bradford

University will help train future leaders in local healthcare

From September, the University of Bradford will begin training hundreds of pharmacy students across the north of England after winning a Health Education England (HEE) grant worth £400,000.

The University won the money as part of a consortium with Buttercups Training and Imaan Healthcare to prepare trainee pharmacists who are currently working in hospitals.

The University will help trainees prepare for assessments at the end of their pre-registration year.

Preparing students

Dr Gemma Quinn, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford, said it was one of the largest grants they had ever secured.

She said: “This is a huge opportunity for us to showcase what we can do in terms of training. Our approach is very much about team-based learning, using innovative ways to apply knowledge, which really helps in terms of preparing students for the workplace, not just in terms of having the necessary skills but being able to interact with a team and make decisions.

“Additionally, many of our lecturers are still practising pharmacists, so we know what’s happening on the ground.”

More than 230 trainee pharmacists across the north of England will benefit from a series of workshops designed to help them fill gaps in their knowledge, beginning in September.

Leaders in healthcare

Dr Quinn, who worked as a hospital pharmacist for seven years, before joining the University in 2008, added: “The assessments require knowledge of hospital and community pharmacy, so these courses will help ensure that students address any gaps in their knowledge, particularly in areas that are more commonly seen in community pharmacy or primary care.

“In the world of healthcare, the importance of pharmacy has increased dramatically, particularly during the pandemic, when they were one of the few services to remain open for face-to-face consultations, and played a huge part in the vaccination programme. Pharmacists are emerging as leaders in healthcare generally.

“There is currently a drive to increase the number of pharmacists in primary care, which has led to shortages in other sectors, so it’s the case that, upon graduation, those who want a job get a job.”

In March 2021, pharmacists were added to the Home Office’s shortage occupation list.

Buttercups Training Ltd, who led the HEE bid and Imaan Healthcare, will be supporting the practice-based supervisors, while University of Bradford will take the lead on teaching.

In 2020, the University’s Master’s in Pharmacy course was rated 98 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey and scored over 80 per cent this year.

Additional information

University of Bradford

The School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences at Bradford currently provide a training programme of study days for their own sandwich course students covering such areas as antimicrobial stewardship, mental health, high risk drugs and collecting high quality evidence. The School’s MPharm degree has been accredited to be delivered entirely using team-based learning and has been commissioned by HEE for many years to provide a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy for pharmacists working in secondary care.

Buttercups Training

Employing over 150 staff, including 80 pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, teachers and scientists, Buttercups Training brings a wealth of first-hand experience of community, hospital, industry, primary care, general practice and veterinary pharmacy. Buttercups is also a leading provider of medicines management and public health education to local authorities, the armed forces, the ambulance service and prisons. 

Imaan Healthcare

Imaan Healthcare is a chain of 42 independent pharmacies with extensive experience of pre-registration training in community and GP practices and a comprehensive network of clinical tutors across the North West and Yorkshire. The company is currently the largest provider of cross-sector primary care pre-registration placements in England (48 trainees in 2020/21), with the highest number of Health Education England (HEE)-funded General Practice (GP) pre-registration placements in the country. Imaan also delivers pre-registration study days for trainees at other companies with content delivered by a combination of prescribing pharmacists, pharmacists with special interests, consultant pharmacists, GPs and consultant physicians.