A unique mental health training programme for experienced pharmacists across England has been extended for another two years following a successful partnership between Health Education England (HEE) and the University of Bradford.
The Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway was developed in 2021 in response to the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS People Plan, which aims to develop the skills and experience of pharmacists working in new roles within community mental health services. These new roles are a key part of a multidisciplinary team (MDT) within new models of integrated primary and community mental health care for adults with severe mental health problems. The first cohort of 50 pharmacists is due to complete their training in March 2023.
HEE has now pledged to fund this pathway for an additional two years, extending training to another 70 pharmacists per year. The University of Bradford will work alongside Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the pathway to support the journey to advanced-level practice for experienced pharmacists.
The Specialist Mental Health Training Pathway is a tailored 12-month programme designed to develop pharmacists’ knowledge of, medicines optimisation, initiation, and personalisation for patients with complex mental illnesses. You can check your eligibility here.
The programme consists of 10 learning modules, containing physical and mental health knowledge, skills, and assessments, which support the journey to advanced-level practice for pharmacists. This new community-based offer includes support for medicines management and improved physical health care.
Shane Costigan, Pharmacy Dean at HEE South East, said: “We are delighted to be building on the success of the first cohort of the training pathway, and to be working with the team at the University of Bradford to support the development of more pharmacists working in community mental health teams to deliver integrated, patient centred care to people with severe mental illness.”
Matthew Elswood, National Specialty Adviser for Mental Health Pharmacy at NHS England said: “This extended training offer providing ongoing support for specialist mental health pharmacists working in new roles is a very positive and welcome development. We have evaluated and improved the training to ensure our workforce has the best support available to meet the challenges of optimising the use of medicines for people with severe and enduring mental illness.”
University of Bradford associate professor Diane Webb, who is leading the project, said: “We are delighted the University of Bradford has been recommissioned to continue delivering this pathway for a further two years. It is with a sense of pride we are continuing to play our part in developing pharmacist leaders for the new roles in primary and community mental health teams throughout England. Continuous evaluation and adaptation of the pathway will drive innovation, collaboration, communication and education using distance learning and team-based learning pedagogy.
“The University of Bradford is the only university to offer this kind of advanced training. Ultimately the training will ensure the workforce is ready for the new roles and provide excellent shared care with patients who have a severe mental illness.”
Director of Studies and postgraduate lead at the University of Bradford Dr Gemma Quinn said: “We are so pleased to be able to continue to offer this programme to specialist pharmacists working in these innovative new roles. Our online national programme has been designed to help pharmacists connect with each other to learn and develop long-lasting networks. This pathway will enable them to provide excellent care for complex patients, and empower them to lead innovation and service improvement within our NHS.”
Register now for the second cohort of Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway at the University of Bradford.
More information on the pathway and eligibility can be found on the Health Education England website.
If you would like to discuss the training further, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The closing date for applications is 9pmon 5th March 2023.