National conference held at a 'critical time' for pharmacy education and training

The GPhC will today hold a national conference to consider how the education and training of the whole pharmacy team needs to change so that pharmacy can play its part in meeting future healthcare challenges.


Almost two hundred delegates from across the UK, representing pharmacy professionals, patients, governments, education and training providers, employers and students, will gather in central London to consider how to ensure that pharmacy education and training continues to be fit for the future. The conference will be chaired by BBC Health correspondent Jane Dreaper and will include a range of speakers who are leaders in their field, including Professor Jane Dacre, the President of the Royal College of Physicians, who is giving the key note speech.


The GPhC will use what it learns from the conference to help redraft the standards for the initial education and training of the pharmacy team. It will then hold a public consultation on the standards before they are published and implemented.


Nigel Clarke, the Chair of the GPhC, will open the conference and tell delegates that this is a critical time for determining the future of the education and training of the pharmacy team. Nigel will challenge delegates to see the bigger picture and to identify how everyone involved can work together now to improve pharmacy education and training in order to meet the needs of patients and of society.


Nigel will also outline the key findings from the responses to the Tomorrow’s pharmacy team discussion paper, which are summarised in a new report published today.


Analysis of the 134 responses found that there was strong agreement with the GPhC’s proposal that the standards for education and training for all members of the pharmacy team should cover a core set of skills and abilities; professionalism, communication skills and multi-professional working.  A broad range of other skills and behaviours that should be common to all roles were also suggested, including management and leadership and patient-centred care.


Respondents called for greater clarity around the future roles of the members of the pharmacy team and concerns were raised that funding and resourcing could act as barriers to the implementation of revised standards.


A wide range of views were expressed on what other skills and abilities should be covered in the standards for each member of the pharmacy team.


The GPhC will be tweeting live updates from the conference using #PharmEd and is encouraging everyone with an interest in pharmacy education to join the discussion on social media.


A summary of the responses received to Tomorrow's Pharmacy can be found here