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Support for Community Pharmacist Prescribers in NHSScotland


A new training package and application process has been set up in NHSScotland to specifically support community pharmacists to undertake an Independent Prescribing (IP) qualification at either of the two Schools of Pharmacy in Scotland – the University of Strathclyde and Robert Gordon University.

The focus of the training package will support community pharmacists to be released from the workplace to undertake the taught and experiential training required for the qualification.  It will also be used to supplement the IP qualification with additional NES Advanced Clinical Assessment Skills for Common Clinical Conditions to enhance the ability of community pharmacists taking on a greater role in frontline services managing self-limiting illnesses and long-term conditions.

Professor Anne Watson, NES Postgraduate Pharmacy Dean said

“Community Pharmacists have an increasing role to play as part of the frontline healthcare team, often as a first port of call to manage common clinical conditions and as part of an integrated approach to helping people manage long term conditions. This will help community pharmacists undertake this training to build on their professional expertise in becoming independent prescribers.”

Professor Harry McQuillan, CEO Community Pharmacy Scotland said:

“CPS are delighted that the role of the community pharmacy independent prescriber is being supported and recognised in this way. Our own Vision of the Model of Community Pharmacy Practice in Scotland, alongside Achieving Excellence, advocates an enhanced clinical role for pharmacists operating directly in their community pharmacies and we view this as a step to making this a reality. This further builds upon the highly successful Pharmacy First initiative and signals the intent to support the population of Scotland by utilising pharmacists’ clinical expertise at the very heart of the communities they serve.”

Professor Rose Marie Parr, Chief Pharmaceutical Officer at Scottish Government said

‘‘Achieving Excellence in Pharmaceutical Care sets out the Scottish Government’s strategy for pharmaceutical care over the next five years. Central to this is our commitment to enhance the role and clinical skills of pharmacists, and in particular to support the increasingly important contribution of our community pharmacists. This opportunity for Independent Prescribing training is part of the overall aims of our strategy.

“I am pleased to support this educational initiative involving both Scottish Schools of Pharmacy, NHS Education for Scotland and Community Pharmacy Scotland and look forward to increasing numbers of community pharmacists utilising their professional expertise to enhance pharmaceutical care in their communities”.

The first cohort for up to 25 community pharmacists, will commence in January 2019 at the University of Strathclyde. The deadline for applications is 12th October 2018. The places will be filled on a first come first served basis and interested community pharmacists can apply via

For more details of the training and application process please contact Fiona Reid at or Matt Barclay at

Reference: PR2018-014