The training experience of primary care pharmacists

Jill K. Jesson, Keith A. Wilson, Alison Blenkinsopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives — To map the tasks, activities and training provision for primary care pharmacists (PCPs) and to identify perceived future training needs. Methods — Survey undertaken in 1998/1999 using a pre-piloted, postal, self-completion questionnaire to two samples of PCPs. Setting — PCPs in (a) the West Midlands and (b) England (outside West Midlands). Key findings — The response rate was 66 per cent. A majority (68 per cent) had worked in the role for less than two years. Eighty per cent had some form of continuing education or training for the role although only 50 per cent had a formal qualification. Over two-thirds had contributed to the funding of their training, with one-third providing all funding. Seventy-four per cent of PCPs agreed that pharmacists should go through a procedure to ensure competence (accreditation) before being allowed to work for a general medical practice or primary care group. Views on the need for formal education/training prior to work differed: 82 per cent of those with formal qualifications, but only 46 per cent of those without, considered that this should be a requirement. There was general agreement that training/education had met training needs. Views on future training closely reflected previous training experiences, with a focus upon pharmaceutical roles rather than upon generic skill development and the acquisition of management skills. Conclusions — The study provides a snapshot in time of the experience of pioneer PCPs and the training available to them. PCPs will need further training or updating if they are to provide the wider roles required by the developing needs of the National Health Service. Consideration should be given to formal recognition of the training of PCPs in order to assure competence. The expectation that pharmacists should fund their own training is likely to be a barrier to uptake of training and uncertainties over funding will militate against consistency of training.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2001


  • primary care pharmacists
  • PCPs
  • training needs
  • National Health Service
  • competence


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