Educating the future pharmacy team

2 December 2015

Almost two hundred delegates from across the UK, representing pharmacy professionals, patients, governments, education and training providers, employers and students, came together at a conference we held on 10 November 2015 to consider the future of pharmacy education and training

Professor Jane Dacre, the President of the Royal College of Physicians, gave the keynote address to the conference, and made a powerful case for the need for integration, collaboration and communication between health professional groups in order to meet the current and future challenges in healthcare.

Watch Professor Dacre’s presentation

Nigel Clarke, the Chair of the GPhC, told delegates that this is a critical time for determining the future of the education and training of the pharmacy team. Nigel emphasised the GPhC’s commitment to work together with everyone involved to develop new standards for the initial education and training of the pharmacy team that will meet the needs of patients and of society.

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

Watch Nigel’s presentation

The key issues discussed at the conference closely reflect what was raised in the responses to the discussion paper.

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.

Both respondents to the discussion paper and delegates at the conference called for greater clarity around the future roles of the members of the pharmacy team, and raised concerns that funding and resourcing could act as barriers to the implementation of revised standards.

A number of the speakers at the conference set out the challenges and opportunities ahead for pharmacy and for pharmacy education, including Professor Peter Kopelman, the Principal of St George’s and RPS Faculty Chair.

Watch Professor Kopelman’s presentation

Watch some of the delegates’ reflections on the conference and the future of pharmacy education and training

Overall there was a consensus both at the conference and in the responses to our discussion paper about what needs to change in pharmacy education and training to meet the needs of patients and society in the future. Nigel Clarke told the conference that based on these responses, the GPhC now has the green light to move forward with its plans to update the standards of initial education and training for the whole pharmacy team.

Next steps

We will use what we have learnt from the conference and the responses to the consultation paper to help redraft the standards for the initial education and training of the pharmacy team. We will continue to engage with everyone with an interest in pharmacy education and training about the key issues to help inform the drafting of the new standards. We will then hold a public consultation on the standards before they are published and implemented.

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