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Pharmacy students may struggle to get GP training places due to tariff payments


Pharmacy students may struggle to get GP training places due to tariff payments

The Pharmacy Schools Council has warned that pharmacy students may struggle to get training placements in GP surgeries because their places command a “much lower” clinical tariff than is paid on behalf of medical students. 

In a statement on Monday November 21, the PhSC voiced concerns that the “payment expectations for placements” could prevent trainee pharmacists from accessing places and potentially “lead to competition between schools of pharmacy who may feel pressurised into paying more than clinical tariff for their general practice payments”. 

The Government offers training providers in England a £5,000 clinical tariff for each 40.8 weeks of pharmacy placement activity, plus a market forces adjustment based on region.

Meanwhile, tariffs for medics in primary care range from £11,937 for postgraduates to £30,750 for undergraduates, plus the market forces adjustment.

The tariff prices are set by the Department of Health and Social Care, while Health Education England is responsible for administering the fund.

The PhSC said it welcomed the fact that pharmacy placements are for the first time eligible for tariff payments, which are paid on the basis that trainees participate in clinical work rather than solely observing. 

However, it warned steps must be taken to ensure equal access, commenting: “Sufficient placements must be made available so that students from all schools of pharmacy can have similar placement opportunities.

“Further, it is desirable for students and trainees from other healthcare professions to have opportunities to learn alongside and from pharmacy students. 

“Pharmacy students should be viewed by training providers as contributors to the work force rather than simply being observers.

“It is proposed therefore to explore the use of validated certification systems, such as microcredentialing, for pharmacy students during their MPharm course so that they can, for example, administer vaccines.”

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