An NHS England training programme aimed at developing leadership and management skills in clinical settings is to be offered to community pharmacists and technicians for the first time.

The six month course is being offered to 600 community pharmacy professionals, and is being delivered by the flagship Mary Seacole programme run by NHS Leadership Academy. It has been designed to “develop participants’ clinical leadership skills,” NHS England says, with the goal of helping pharmacy professionals make the best use of their clinical skills in reviewing people’s medicines in a range of settings, including GP surgeries, care homes and in the community.

The training programme, which is funded by NHS England’s Pharmacy Integration Fund, is part of a £15 million training package being delivered over two years in partnership with Health Education England.

The first course began in London on 31 October. It will be rolled out to groups in Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham and the West Midlands from November, followed by 10 other regions. Online learning forms the bulk of the programme, supported by three face-to-face workshops delivered locally.

Deputy chief pharmaceutical officer Dr Bruce Warner said: “NHS England is committed to supporting pharmacists and pharmacy technicians through investment in education and skills so they can spend more time leading the delivery of high quality clinical care for patients in a variety of integrated primary and urgent care settings. This is a very exciting opportunity for community pharmacy and we hope we get an enthusiastic response.” 

Professor Elizabeth Hughes, director and dean for Education and Quality, London and South East, Health Education England added: “This is a welcome and timely opportunity for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across the profession to consolidate leadership capability and potential, with the potential to have a real impact on patient experience and outcomes.

“Developing the leadership potential of individuals is an integral part of ensuring the workforce has the right skills, behaviours and values in an increasingly multi-disciplinary healthcare economy where cross-sector partnership and new ways of working are key to future-proofing the NHS.”

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