Health Education England (HEE) will increase the number of available trainee pharmacist vacancies by 10% next year.
The number of pharmacist pre-registration places are set to rise to 657.
Currently, pharmacists make up 14% of the primary care workforce, and HEE has pledged to increase this from September 2015 onwards.
An independent think tank has been set up to investigate how the primary care workforce can be developed and will report its findings in June 2015.
The Primary Care Workforce Commission, set up by Health Education England (HEE) and chaired by Professor Martin Roland, will be tasked with determining how the “wider workforce for primary care requirements” can be developed.
HEE has promised a £5bn investment for local education and training boards (LETBs) in the UK for Autumn 2015.
The training budget will be shared among the 13 LETBs, who will “diagnose what is needed on the ground” before using that knowledge to develop local investment plans.
HEE’s Workforce Plan for England, claims it’s “commissioning more education and training then ever before”, with 50,000 trainee doctors and 37,000 training posts for pre-registration nurses, scientists and therapists announced.
HEE has planned to add a further 209 vacancies for general practice for the 2015/16 academic year, taking the total planned to 3,216.
Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, asked HEE to begin an independent commission into primary care workforce, as “there was a big gap in the government’s analysis of the workforce pressures in general practice”.
The number of GPs available for employment by 2020 will reach more than 36,000, if all 3,250 training posts are filled from 2016, predicted HEE.
HEE has planned to increase numbers of other healthcare professionals to avoid creating a large disparity between the number of GPs and other primary care workers.
An additional 71 posts for district nursing, 142 for school nurses and 152 for health visitors have been earmarked by the new workforce plan to allow for the quota of health visitors pledged by the government.
Health visitor numbers had been commissioned to rise by 4,200 by 2015 as part of the government’s health visitor implementation plan, which began in 2011.
Dental training posts has decreased for undergraduates by 10% to 809 places, however, postgraduates places have risen by 1.2% for places for the foundation programme and dental core training.
Postgraduate ophthalmology places have slightly decreased from 547 to 544 for September 2015.