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HEE offers mental health training to a further 140 pharmacists


HEE offers mental health training to a further 140 pharmacists

A further 140 pharmacists are to benefit from funded specialist mental health training courses, Health Education England has said. 

In a statement yesterday, HEE said it was extending its partnership with the University of Bradford (UoB) for two more years, offering places on the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway to 70 pharmacists per year. The closing date for applications is 21:00 on March 5.

The pathway was developed in 2021 as a response to ambitions set out in the NHS Long Term Plan and NHS People Plan to develop pharmacists’ skills in “working in new roles within community mental health services,” with the first cohort of 50 pharmacists due to complete training in March this year.

“These new roles are a key part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) within new models of integrated primary and community mental health care for adults with severe mental health problems,” said HEE.

The UoB is working with Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the pathway “to support the journey to advanced level practice for experienced pharmacists,” with the programme consisting of 10 modules looking at physical and mental health knowledge, skills and assessments.

“This new community-based offer includes support for medicines management and improved physical health care,” said HEE.

HEE South East pharmacy dean Shane Costigan said: “We are delighted to be building on the success of the first cohort of the training pathway, and to be working with the team at the University of Bradford to support the development of more pharmacists working in community mental health teams to deliver integrated, patient-centred care to people with severe mental illness.”

University of Bradford associate professor Diane Webb, who is leading the project, said: “We are delighted the University of Bradford has been recommissioned to continue delivering this pathway for a further two years. It is with a sense of pride we are continuing to play our part developing pharmacist leaders for the new roles in primary and community mental health teams throughout England. Continuous evaluation and adaptation of the pathway will drive innovation, collaboration, communication and education using distance learning and team-based learning pedagogy.

“The University of Bradford is the only university to offer this kind of advanced training. Ultimately the training will ensure the workforce is ready for the new roles and provide excellent shared care with patients who have severe mental illness.”

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