A new training programme is now available to newly-qualified community pharmacists across Scotland.

The new NHS Education for Scotland (NES) vocational training (VT) foundation programme, which launched yesterday (20 September), will see 60 pharmacists get a structured career pathway into community pharmacy. 

These pharmacists will start the nationally recognised training programme in September 2017.

Before the creation of the programme, there was only a national VT scheme for Scottish hospital pharmacy.

With the ongoing changes in the primary care sector, the framework will provide pharmacists in their early career and working across more than one sector with core skills and sector specific competencies.

Of the launch, NES postgraduate pharmacy dean Professor Anne Watson said: ‘I am absolutely delighted that we have made this step forward in developing a structured training programme for early years’ pharmacists.

‘It will also allow a much more flexible workforce, which will support the profession in meeting the demands on healthcare. We plan to robustly evaluate the use of the overall foundation programme in this early phase.’

Improving and transforming NHS pharmaceutical care in Scotland are the two main priorities identified by the Scottish government’s strategy, ‘Achieving excellence in pharmaceutical care’ set in August 2017.