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University Award Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists (Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing) - Level 7

Course Description

This is an exciting programme of study which, on successful completion, allows students to seek to have their qualification recorded by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and to practice as an Independent Pharmacist Prescriber. Prescribing by pharmacists has evolved to offer better access to medicines and to optimise the skills and expertise of pharmacists in the provision of care. Where appropriate, pharmacists are able to complete episodes of care, whilst also enhancing their role within the team. Patients evaluate their experience of Pharmacist Independent prescribing positively.

Students frequently report that the course is probably the most challenging they have undertaken since their pre-registration programme, but also the most rewarding. Students report positively on the organisation of the course and on the support provided for their preparation as prescribers. The programme delivery is designed to provide opportunities for students to receive feedback to support the development of their work throughout the programme. We consider all student feedback and work with this to enhance the student experience and outcomes.

We meet regularly with Non-Medical Prescribing Leads and mentors to ensure that the programme maintains its relevance to the constantly evolving environment of healthcare, thus ensuring that students are ‘fit for practice’ and ‘fit for purpose’. The programme team includes academic staff who continue to work in practice.

Course outline

The programme is a multi-professional, part-time course which will prepare pharmacists for a role as an Independent Pharmacist Prescriber.

In accordance with the requirements identified by the GPhC, the programme comprises 26 theory days, of which some may be attended more flexibly online, and 12 practice days (90 hours equivalent) in clinical practice preparing to be a prescriber.

This 40 credit programme at level 7 comprises two 10 credit modules and one 20 credit module focusing on the principles which underpin prescribing practice.

On successful completion of the programme students will be able to:
-Consult effectively with patients and carers, assessing their need for medicines, taking account of their wishes and conducting, as appropriate, a relevant physical examination, recognise and manage clinical complexity.
-Demonstrate clarity of reasoning in relation to the relevance of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics and apply the knowledge to their own prescribing practice.
-Interrogate the benefits and demonstrate how they will prescribe safely, appropriately and cost effectively, justifying the local application of legal and professional frameworks for accountability and responsibility in relation to prescribing.
-Synthesise sources of information, advice and support, explaining how they will use them in prescribing practice, taking into account evidence based practice, national/local guidelines and the roles of others who are involved in prescribing practice.
-Critically evaluate factors which impact on prescribing in a public health context and which necessitate therapeutic monitoring and modification and practice based change.
-Demonstrate knowledge and clarity of reasoning in the ability to refer/ consult with other appropriate health care professionals in a timely manner, developing an effective relationship and communication channels with patients/carers, other prescribers and members of the health care team to work within a prescribing partnership, critically reflect on the clinical governance frameworks that include audit and prescribing practice and development, provide evidence of their Continuing Professional Development plan for 12 months post qualifying.

Graduate destinations

Non-medical prescribing is offered as stand-alone provision. However, students may wish to enhance their prescribing role by undertaking a 20-credit Consultation and Physical Examination: Health Assessment Skills module and combine these modules for a Postgraduate Certificate award such as Prescribing and Assessment for Pharmacists.

Other admission requirements

-A Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP) who will act as mentor.
-The DMP mentor must meet the standards required by the Department of Health.
-Clinical governance arrangements agreed by the Non-Medical Prescribing Lead.
-For applicants within Cumbria and Lancashire, evidence of attainment of a minimum mark of 80% in the pre-course numeracy assessment.
-A satisfactory Enhanced DBS check obtained by the applicant’s employer, and issued within three years of the course start date.

Visit the University Award Independent Prescribing for Pharmacists (Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing) - Level 7 page on the University of Cumbria website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Evidence of prior successful study at level 6 and within 6 years of the course start date. A fully completed application form confirming:at least two years' clinical experience in the area in which prescribing will take place identification of the need to prescribe by the line manager, and access to a prescribing budget on successful completion of the course. See course description for further admission details.

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Recipient: University of Cumbria

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