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Introduce accreditation for tutors to control pharmacist numbers

When I qualified from the school of pharmacy at the University of Brighton in 1983 it was an excellent school, as I am sure it is today, producing high calibre registered pharmacists. So why then do we need another school at the University of Sussex two miles away (The Pharmaceutical Journal 2015;294:436)?

Universities appear to be on a mission to open up a school of pharmacy on every corner of the UK and there is nothing we can do. But the regulator could consider introducing a tough accreditation process for existing and prospective pre-registration tutors to help control numbers. This would not only weed out tutors who do not make the grade but also reduce the number of pre-registration places available, hence reducing the numbers qualifying. Harsh? Maybe. But desperate times call for desperate measures.

I recently worked with a newly registered locum who struggled to find regular work so she applied to train as a primary school teacher. Pharmacy graduates who cannot register have the option of retraining like any other graduate. This must be frustrating for pharmacy graduates, especially after four years of study and a £40,000 loan to pay off. This surge in pharmacist numbers must be stopped. Incorporating a tough accreditation process for tutors may help to curb this oversupply train wreck.

Akis Michael Koumis

Ilford,

Essex 

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2015.20068587

Readers' comments (2)

  • The aim of accrediting tutors should be to improve the standard of training. Here, you are essentially saying it should be used to limit the number of pre-registration training places available so that fresh graduates have no where to train.

    That is more of an attack on students than a solution. Students are not the problem and should not be made to suffer. The problem is the disregard for the future of the profession that we are seeing in the decision not to cap student numbers and to start a new school in Sussex.

    I do not want to believe we have leaders that will purposefully reduce the number of available pre registration places to ensure that students who graduate cannot register. Why else would they have chosen to study pharmacy?

    We need a solution (or solutions) but if pre-reg places drop, so should student numbers.

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  • "Universities appear to be on a mission to open up a school of pharmacy on every corner of the UK"
    Bit of an irrational comment to make where if you start at Lands End in Penzance (Cornwall), the first pharmacy school you will reach is four hours drive away in Bath University.
    Maybe, rather than limiting the pre-registration places or making accreditation compulsory for tutors, a focus on opening schools in areas other than London and the surroundings would be more beneficial?

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