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New Funding for Student Pharmacists

Investing in the next generation of pharmacists


The Scottish Government is investing in the next generation of pharmacists, with £2.85m funding for 2018-19 to support the current experiential learning (EL) that student pharmacists undertake in community pharmacies and hospitals and expand this into primary care, and other venues.

With student pharmacists heading out to experience EL in new settings such as primary care and NHS 24 this week, this funding will allow them to put their learning from university into practice, which will ultimately result in better patient care.

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

This new funding will allow development and expansion of existing EL to meet the requirements of pharmacists moving forward. Funding for training providers will help release Facilitators to spend dedicated time supporting Student Pharmacists during experiential learning. Funding for students will cover travel and subsistence, if appropriate depending on the location of the placement, allowing them to experience remote and rural practice.

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.”

Dr Brian Addison, MPharm Course Leader at RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, said: “This Experiential Learning scheme is a prime example of how RGU is working to provide demand-led opportunities for our students to enhance their skills in a professional environment. Not only does this work-based learning give them excellent experience putting their knowledge into practice, but it also offers them the chance to build the kinds of contacts which could become invaluable as they head into the workforce as the Pharmacists of the future.”

Dr Anne Boyter, Director of Teaching and Deputy Head of Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, said: “This is a hugely exciting development for Pharmacy education, which will enable us to build on the experiential learning already in our MPharm. It will enhance the professional growth and development of our students and support them as they gain valuable experience where they can integrate classroom learning with real life patient facing pharmacy experience.

More information on the scheme is available here.

For more than 200 years, the University of Strathclyde has been meeting the needs of students, employers, industry and wider society through world-class research, teaching, innovation and enterprise. Today, as a leading international technological University, Strathclyde works side-by-side with business, industry, government and the public sector, to improve health, safeguard the future of energy supplies, set new standards in manufacturing, and pioneer technologies.  Its entrepreneurial environment makes Strathclyde the partner of choice for growing numbers of organisations across the world, and has been recognised through the award of Times Higher Education UK Business School of the Year, Entrepreneurial University of the Year, and University of the Year.

Robert Gordon University (RGU) has an international reputation for its close engagement with industry in providing high-quality and professionally-focused teaching and learning. The university’s central mission is to transform people and communities through demand-led education and research, making a significant contribution to economic, social and cultural development regionally, nationally and across the globe.