A pharmacy student at the University of Bradford

THE University of Bradford has won a Health Education England (HEE) grant worth £400,000 to train pharmacy students across the north of England from September.

It 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 training will help them prepare for assessments at the end of their pre-registration year.

Dr Gemma Quinn, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford, said, “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.”

“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,” she said.

Dr Quinn, who worked as a hospital pharmacist for seven years, before joining the University in 2008, said it was one of the largest grants they had ever secured.

The training programme that includes a series of specially designed workshops will benefit more than 230 trainee pharmacists across the north of England.

The importance of pharmacy has increased dramatically, particularly during the pandemic, as they were one of the few services that remained open for face-to-face consultations, Dr Quinn said.

Pharmacists played a key role in the vaccination programme and are emerging as leaders in healthcare sector, she added.

“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,” Quinn said.

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

Buttercups Training Ltd, who led the HEE bid and Imaan Healthcare, will support 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.

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