The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has said that the vision for pharmacy education will fail without funding.
This response comes as part of the response by the RPS to the General Pharmaceutical Council’s consultation on initial education and training standards for pharmacists.
The consultation makes a number of proposals, including revising learning outcomes focused on developing clinical skills and communication skills; strengthening experiential learning and inter-professional learning and a more structured approach to learning in practice.
Gail Fleming, Director of Education, said:
“We welcome the GPhC’s ambition to see closer integration of academic study and learning in practice. However, meeting this ambition will require considerable investment and infrastructure. If these proposals are implemented prior to additional funding being secured, the potential disruption could pose a risk to the future supply of the pharmacy workforce. This comes just when pharmacists are playing an increasing role across the NHS to support better outcomes for patients.
“Changes to education and training must have patient safety at their core. This is essential to ensure future pharmacists provide the best possible patient care. Pharmacists must also have the opportunity to develop throughout their careers, building on their initial education and training through to foundation level practice and beyond to create a safe, capable and adaptable workforce.
“This should be supported by a national approach to coordinating learning in practice placements so that employers can attract students from around the country. With a current 20% failure rate at registration, more transparency is needed so that students are able to see what outcomes are likely from a course, and can make an informed choice about where they choose to study.”