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Preregistration trainee

Pharmacy trainees may need to pay for their placements, says chief pharmaceutical officer

A proportion of pharmacy trainees may eventually have to fund their own pre-registration placements, says England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge, pictured

Source: Nadia Attura / Royal Pharmaceutical Society

Keith Ridge, chief pharmaceutical officer for England, believes that pharmacy graduates will eventually have to fund their own preregistration placements

A proportion of pharmacy trainees may eventually have to fund their own preregistration placements, says England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge.

Ridge told a pharmacy education conference, organised by the General Pharmaceutical Council on 10 November 2015, that he believes the current uncapped level of preregistration trainees, particularly in community pharmacy, is unsustainable in the current fiscal environment.

He made the comments in response to a question from Stephen Messham, communications officer of the British Pharmaceutical Students’ Association (BPSA), who asked what each of the four countries of the UK planned to do to ensure all pharmacy graduates can secure a preregistration placement.

“The NHS will hire a certain number of pharmacists and have a certain number of preregistration places and that therefore means there will be some degree of competition,” Ridge said, adding, “that doesn’t stop graduates who are seeking a preregistration [placement] paying for themselves, because I can see that that is where we are going to end up at some point along this journey.”

The BPSA says it does not support a future in which preregistration trainees are funding their own training placements.

“There is already negativity within the profession that threatens the morale of future generations,” it says. “Suggesting that preregistration trainees are not valuable enough assets in the workforce to warrant funded training will further demoralise the workforce of tomorrow.”

The BPSA is scheduled to meet with Ridge and representatives from Health Education England later in November 2015.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20200077

Readers' comments (6)

  • To say the least a somewhat sad endpoint for our profession.
    This simply underlines the need to address the issue of student numbers into MPharm programmes.

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  • Top company's invest in training their employees and equipping them with skills for the interests of the company and the individual. Perhaps there maybe an expectation of a return of service through an employee contract. Asking a new budding pharmacist to pay for their training may cause un due financial pressure and may discourage students from seeking registration. If the Nhs revolks funding of pre reg places it may reduce the number of nhs years return of service if paid training was provided. Although there is no cap on pre reg places there is a limit on the amount of places available. Thus having a natural ceiling at the moment. A solution maybe increase nhs funding to the pharmacy undergraduate degree and encorperate the pre reg year.

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  • Obviously! Who wouldn't want to pay to become a member of a conveyor belt warehouse model and the primary source of enticing bonuses?

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  • Hey I have an idea. They basically say that pharmacy students have already paid 4 years of MPharm so surely they can afford another pre-reg year because that counts as training. If they think that sound ok then they have to agree with me on this. We could apply the same principle here: why don't we ask all the top leaders and officers to pay for their term, soon our NHS (and national) coffers will be replenished. They are effectively in training as well. They don't have a clue what's going on, and all of us, all the people are just guinea-pigs in this big UK lab, generating outcomes for their experiments of policies. Sometimes we may even have to guide them to the right way, feeding what is called 'common sense' bit by bit. If they want to keep messing, they should keep paying, otherwise just quit and let someone else have a go. That way we may even be able to lower the tax due to budget surplus, and everyone ends up being richer, happier and (thus could be) healthier. Seems pretty good to me.

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  • Why don't you first consider the fact that there are too many pharmacy schools in the country?

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  • Does it matter who funds the pre-registration year? Whether self funded or nhs, the whole point of obtaing a pharmacy qualifiction is not just to register; it's no great achievement unless you get a job and make a living from your chosen career. With 36 schools of pharmacy, 3000 registering, 90% dependant on nhs money for employment, no nhs money available,
    is there anybody in the driving seat!?

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  • A proportion of pharmacy trainees may eventually have to fund their own pre-registration placements, says England’s chief pharmaceutical officer Keith Ridge, pictured

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