New course to help tackle hospital waiting times

The University’s School of Pharmacy is one of three selected by the West Midlands Office of Health Education England to run a fast-track pilot of their established independent prescribing course for pharmacists.

Pharmacists will be qualified to become Independent Prescribers, allowing successful candidates to develop their practice area and deliver positive change to their workforce.

The University of Wolverhampton’s course, which has official accreditation from the General Pharmaceutical Council, is the first to launch.

Two cohorts of 12 senior pharmacists from local hospitals will be starting at the University later this month (APR) for three months of intensive training. The students will also undertake practical training in their specialist areas at their base hospitals, with senior medical staff acting as workplace supervisors.

Anne Noott, Senior Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Course Leader for the Pharmacist Independent Prescribing course at the University, said: “By law, qualified pharmacist independent prescribers can prescribe medicines for any patient within their particular area of therapeutic expertise.

“These students are already specialist pharmacists, working in areas such as oncology, elderly care and emergency medicine. This qualification will allow them to make the most of their knowledge and expertise to improve the care they can provide for their patients.

“It will be an intensive course but we are confident that our students can meet the challenge. We have deliberately kept each intake small so we can get to know each student as an individual. Our colleagues within the School of Pharmacy and throughout the University will help us to provide them with the skills and support they need.”

The course is being funded by Health Education West Midlands (HEWM), which is hoping the investment will have long term benefits for patients, especially over the winter months when there is increased pressure on hospital beds.

Matt Aiello, Project Manager for HEWM’s Emergency Medicine Taskforce, said: “Health Education West Midlands, in partnership with regional employers and educators – including Aston, Worcester and Wolverhampton Universities and employers including Birmingham Children’s Hospital Trust, Heart of England Foundation Trust, Worcester Acute Hospitals Trust and Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust - aims to lead the way in the delivery of the future multi-professional, non-doctor workforce.

“Amongst its portfolio of emergency and acute care projects, enhancing the role of the Pharmacist in Emergency and Acute care is a priority area for HEWM and its regional partners, with unique pilot projects informing regional and national workforce planning.”

ENDS

For more information please contact Emma Pugh in the Press Office on 01902 322736.

Date issued: Wednesday 9 April 2014

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