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CCA urges urgent action on shortage of designated prescribing practitioners

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It has repeatedly warned NHS England of the likely consequences arising from the lack of designated prescribing practitioners 

The Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) has raised concern that pharmacies may face challenges in providing placements to pharmacy students graduating in 2025 due to shortages of designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs).

From the academic year 2025/26, all pharmacy students will be required to complete 90 hours of training with designated prescribing practitioners prior to their registration.

However, the CCA has raised doubts regarding the availability of these healthcare professionals to provide such training.

The association said: “We are concerned that pharmacies will be unable to secure DPPs. This will result in a significant reduction in the number of Foundation Pharmacist placements available within the community pharmacy sector.

Consequently, a significant number of graduates leaving university next year will, unfortunately, struggle to find employment in their chosen career.”

As per the CCA, they have repeatedly raised their concerns with NHS England and cautioned them about the potential consequences arising from the lack of DPPs.  

Despite NHSE’s repeated assurances that there are sufficient DPPs within the system, pharmacies are reporting difficulties in finding the DPPs, it said.

The CCA has urged NHS England to provide a list of all organisations with available DPPs before releasing placement information to students.

Malcolm Harrison, CEO of the CCA, stated: The CCA has repeatedly warned NHS England about the short supply of Designated Prescribing Practitioners (DPPs).

“NHS England must take control of the situation and provide a full list of all organisations with available DPPs. We want to avoid a situation where our members are unable to offer placements to pharmacy students graduating in 2025.

Malcolm called on NHS England to take swift and decisive action to avert this risk to pharmacy graduate placements.

“Employers do not want to be forced to remove foundation placements from ORIEL, especially considering the existing workforce challenges and exciting opportunities that Independent Prescribing offers,” he noted.

Other trade bodies, such as the National Pharmacy Association (NPA), have echoed serious concerns about this risk to the pharmacist workforce.

From September of 2026 all new qualifying Pharmacists will be Independent Prescribers on the day of registration. To make this possible, several changes have been made to the foundation year including that they must complete 90 hours training with a DPP.

 

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