University wins huge grant as graduates virtually guaranteed a job due to national shortage

From September, the University of Bradford will begin training hundreds of pharmacy students across the north of England after winning a Health Education England (HEE) grant worth £400,000.

The University won the money as part of a consortium with Buttercups Training and Imaan Healthcare to prepare trainee pharmacists who are currently working in hospitals.

The University will help trainees prepare for assessments at the end of their pre-registration year.

Dr Gemma Quinn, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Pharmacy, from the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Bradford, said it was one of the largest grants they had ever secured.

She said: “This is a huge opportunity for us to showcase what we can do in terms of training. Our approach is very much about team-based learning, using innovative ways to apply knowledge, which really helps in terms of preparing students for the workplace, not just in terms of having the necessary skills but being able to interact with a team and make decisions.

“Additionally, many of our lecturers are still practising pharmacists, so we know what’s happening on the ground.”

More than 230 trainee pharmacists across the north of England will benefit from a series of workshops designed to help them fill gaps in their knowledge, beginning in September.

Dr Quinn, who worked as a hospital pharmacist for seven years, before joining the University in 2008, added: “The assessments require knowledge of hospital and community pharmacy, so these courses will help ensure that students address any gaps in their knowledge, particularly in areas that are more commonly seen in community pharmacy or primary care.

“In the world of healthcare, the importance of pharmacy has increased dramatically, particularly during the pandemic, when they were one of the few services to remain open for face-to-face consultations, and played a huge part in the vaccination programme. Pharmacists are emerging as leaders in healthcare generally.

“There is currently a drive to increase the number of pharmacists in primary care, which has led to shortages in other sectors, so it’s the case that, upon graduation, those who want a job get a job.”

In March 2021, pharmacists were added to the Home Office’s shortage occupation list.

Buttercups Training Ltd, who led the HEE bid and Imaan Healthcare, will be supporting the practice-based supervisors, while University of Bradford will take the lead on teaching.

In 2020, the University’s Master’s in Pharmacy course was rated 98 per cent for overall satisfaction in the National Student Survey and scored over 80 per cent this year.