New funding for student pharmacists

Student pharmacists, including students at the University of Strathclyde, are to benefit from Scottish Government investment of £2.85 million.

The funding will support the current experiential learning (EL) that student pharmacists undertake in community pharmacies and hospitals and expand this into primary care, and other venues.

Better care

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, ultimately resulting in better patient care.

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

The new funding will allow development and expansion of existing EL to meet the requirements of pharmacists. 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.

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.”

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.”