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Education and training

MPharm degree fails to equip pharmacists for future roles

The existing Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree offered by British universities fails to equip pharmacists with the skills needed to deliver the care and the services that will be expected of them in the future, according to the profession’s regulator

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Pharmacy students need to think and act like pharmacists throughout their initial education and training, says the profession’s regulator

The existing Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree offered by British universities fails to equip pharmacists with the skills needed to deliver the care and the services that will be expected of them in the future, according to the profession’s regulator.

The current MPharm degree and pre-registration training year needs to be integrated so that would-be pharmacists are capable of delivering patient-centred care, have exemplary communication and people skills and naturally fit into a multi-disciplinary team working in different care settings, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) says.

Integration is essential to meet political expectations of the pharmacy team, the GPhC says in its discussion paper on the future training and education of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy-support staff published on 16 June 2015.

“Helping students to think and act like pharmacists throughout their initial education and training — so that they can develop and ‘grow’ into the profession — is a powerful idea which we support.”

And the GPhC warns: “If anyone believes that ‘integrated’ education is not in the best interests of future patients and students themselves, we need to know why.”

The GPhC has launched a survey to gauge whether the profession and the public supports its views about the future direction of training and education and whether they should be the basis of professional standards.

The discussion paper, entitled “Tomorrow’s pharmacy team: future standards for initial education and training of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff” and the accompanying survey, which runs until 14 August 2015, are on the GPhC website.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068763

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