Scotland announces £2.85m for hands-on pharmacy training

Pharmacy students in Scotland are to benefit from a £2.85m investment in their practice-based learning, including support for existing programmes placing them in community pharmacy.

The Scottish Government says the funding will support the current experiential learning (EL) offering in community pharmacies and hospital and create new EL opportunities in areas such as primary care and NHS 24 (a telecare service with some similarities to NHS 111 in England and NHS Direct Wales).

The funding will help training providers allocate personnel to support students on EL placements and will cover students’ travel and subsistence, helping them to work in remote and rural locations.

This forms part of the Scottish Pharmacy Experiential Learning scheme, which is being organised in partnership between the University of Strathclyde, Robert Gordon University, NHS Education for Scotland (NES) and other pharmacy stakeholders.

Chief pharmaceutical officer Rose Marie Parr said: “This funding will enhance the experiential learning of student pharmacists, making the hands-on experience more fruitful and maximising support to students.

“It is vital that we continue to invest in our pharmacists of the future, so that the use of medicines can be optimised and ensure that patients continue to get the best results from their medicines. I would like to thank the universities and NHS partners for taking forward this exciting initiative.”

Professor Anne Watson, postgraduate pharmacy dean at NES, said: “We want to give our student pharmacists the best possible education, so that they have the right blend of skills to hit the ground running when they graduate. Learning in the workplace is an important part of that, and it’s great news that we can now support both the students and those who give up valuable time to support them.”

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