The University of Portsmouth School of Pharmacy has launched an innovative new training programme, which will allow pharmacy students to interact with real patients at a healthy living pharmacy (HLP).

'Healthy Living Pharmacy Live' was officially opened this month by Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) president Ash Soni.

The university has entered into a partnership with Lalys Pharmacy in Guildhall Walk to develop the initiative, which aims to put academic theory into practice through work experience sessions for all 550 students across the four-year master’s degree course.

The project is only the second of its kind in the UK and is based on a concept pioneered by University College London.

Ash Soni, himself a graduate of the University of Portsmouth, said: "This is a valuable project for both the students and the local population. It will really help the students – who I think of as training professionals – understand what a key role they are going to play as pharmacists.” 

Closely supervised by registered pharmacists at all times, students will advise patients on medicines to treat minor ailments, provide support for patients with long-term conditions, and observe services such as medicine reviews and health checks. They will also have access to two consulting rooms fitted with cameras, so that their interactions with consenting patients can be recorded and reviewed.

Owner of Lalys Pharmacy, Baldev Laly, said: “I’m coming to the end of my career and I felt it was really important to give something back. The university is a very important part of the city, and this will help the students as well as benefiting Portsmouth itself.” 

The event was also attended by Professor Jane Portlock; senior lecturer Mike Leech; vice-chancellor Professor Graham Gilbraith; council leader Donna Jones and Minister for Portsmouth Mark Francois, who had his blood pressure measured by student Ryan Ferbrache. 

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