A total of 60 undergraduate students participated in the pilot and 41 sites hosted the students. Photo: iStock

One-third of the pharmacy students participated in an NHS funded experimental learning (EL) programme pilot across Scotland reported not having any patient contact during their placement.

The pilot scheme ran alongside existing EL in all years of the MPharm in two Scottish Schools of Pharmacy earlier this year.

A total of 60 undergraduate students, 29 from Robert Gordon University and 31 from University of Strathclyde, participated in the pilot and 41 sites, including ten community pharmacies, hosted the students.

Among the students who responded to an online survey as part of the evaluation, one third said they had no contact with the patients during the EL. Over half (53.8%) of them  reported having patient contact.

“Some participants criticised the lack of hand-on experience, with students observing or shadowing, rather than undertaking tasks,” according to the NHS NES report.

Most of the participants were positive about their EL in general and more specifically about the opportunity to experience new pharmacy roles in non-traditional settings, the report said.

The facilitators were extremely positive about the pilot and “unanimous in their willingness to host future EL”, the report added.