A record 155 pharmacist trainees have accepted pre-registration places in Wales, according to the Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW).

This is an increase of 60 per cent from last year when the number of trainees was 96.

HEIW, the special health authority within NHS Wales, said 97 per cent of the places available were filled across health boards throughout Wales, following an “extensive recruitment process”.

“This significant increase in pharmacy trainees for Wales is great news and a very encouraging start to our efforts to train more pharmacists. In Wales, pharmacists increasingly play an important role in providing advice and treatment in communities, GP practices and hospitals. This is a key part of our future vision for the NHS,” said Health Minister, Vaughan Gething.

HEIW has credited the Train Work Live campaign for the success of the recruitment process, along with the health body’s attendance at university careers events across the UK.

Margaret Allan, Pharmacy Dean at HEIW said: “I am delighted that undergraduate students across the UK have recognised the commitment in Wales to invest in pre-registration pharmacist training. The investment includes increasing numbers, but significantly will ensure a first-class quality assured training experience across the patient care pathway.”

In April, the Welsh government announced an extra £3.6 million for 2020-21 to transform pharmacy training with an increase in the number of training places from around 100 each year to 200 by August 2023.

“We want pharmacists to have the skills to provide the best patient care wherever they are seen and this programme will be the building blocks to meet the ambitions of ‘Pharmacy: Delivering a Healthier Wales’,” Allan added.

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