Coventry University is to deliver a new pilot community pharmacy technician training programme. The pilot programme, which is being launched in the West Midlands, is supported by NHS England and Health Education England through the Pharmacy Integration Fund, and will strengthen and diversify the pharmacy workforce and help to improve patient care.
The fund has been set up by NHS England to enable pharmacist and pharmacy technician integration in primary care as part of new multi-disciplinary healthcare teams, making the most of their clinical skills, particularly for the benefit of people with long-term conditions.
The university secured the contract with Health Education England (HEE), through a competitive open tender process, to deliver the fully funded Community Pharmacy Technician Training and Development Pilot Programme.
The programme will run from February until December 2018 and is supported by the Local Pharmaceutical Committees in the West Midlands, and is part of HEE’s plans for registered community pharmacy technicians to develop their professional and leadership roles within community pharmacy alongside targeted workforce and organisational development.
Community pharmacy technicians’ responsibilities include assembling medicines under the supervision of pharmacists, supplying prescriptions and providing advice to patients and other healthcare professionals.
The Community Pharmacy Technician Training and Development Pilot Programme will broaden the skills of those working in the profession and is being piloted in the West Midlands, with 25 delegates, with the intention of HEE evaluating the programme to inform the next steps for rollout of training and education nationally from 2018/19.
Coventry University will also offer organisational development opportunities to the community pharmacies which are the employers of the 25 delegates, looking at their business operating models and helping all staff improve on the services they deliver to the local communities they serve.
Coventry University senior lecturer and Community Pharmacy Technician Training and Development Pilot Programme Director Adam Layland said:
“We are very pleased to have been recognised by Health Education England as an exemplar in healthcare leadership and management. This was a very competitive process so to be awarded this contract is testimony to the quality of our teaching staff and the outstanding facilities that we offer.
“Our programme over the next 12 months will develop individuals, teams and organisations working within community pharmacy, so that they can deliver improved and integrated patient care.
“We look forward to working with Health Education England, the Local Pharmaceutical Committee and our other stakeholders to ensure that this programme is highly successful and informs the national roll-out of training and education focused on the pharmacy technician workforce.”
Professor Liz Hughes, Director of Education and Quality (London and South East), at Health Education England, said:
“Our congratulations to Coventry University. We look forward to working with them.
“Ensuring the workforce has the right skills, behaviours and values to enable effective multi-disciplinary team working and integration within the NHS is key to its long-term sustainability.
“The Pharmacy Integration Fund is enabling us to work with our stakeholders to develop this exciting new training as part of our broader agenda to drive workforce transformation across the NHS to support locally delivered integrated care models.”