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The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has teamed up with the Health Education England (HEE) and Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) to provide free online workshops for all community pharmacists across England.

Starting from October, the continuing professional development (CPD) programme will support pharmacists to improve skills in patient-facing consultations and clinical assessments for a range of minor illnesses.

The aim is to build skills and confidence in pharmacists so that they can manage patients referred from NHS 111 to the NHS Community Pharmacist Consultation Service.

Paul Bennett, chief executive of RPS, said: “Developing community pharmacists to take a greater role in urgent care is part of our drive to ensure pharmacy is at the forefront of healthcare. Our partnerships with HEE and the RCGP in delivering this work demonstrate the commitment from general practice and pharmacy to work together to improve care for patients.”

The CPD will be delivered through online pre-learning and interactive online workshops, running 6 days a week, evenings and weekends.

It will be delivered by advanced clinical practitioners and GPs and is funded by the NHS through Health Education England.

Claire Anderson of the RPS said: “These online workshops are a hugely exciting next step for the pharmacy workforce. We really welcome this collaboration which will benefit the skills of our expert, flexible network of community pharmacists and further strengthen the close working relationship between general practice and pharmacy.”

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