Pharmacy education

The pharmacy department at our Trust—which includes Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and West Middlesex University Hospital—prides itself on the excellent educational opportunities we offer to all staff members. We believe that an organisation that trains well delivers better patient care, so our educational mission is to equip our staff to do this. 

We aim to deliver excellence in education in the following ways:

  • Using qualified pharmacy staff as tutors to coordinate educational activities as well as their clinical duties
  • Ensuring compliance to trust mandatory training requirements
  • Delivering appropriate experience for work-based learning and workplace assessment as part of pre-registration and foundation pharmacy training—for resident pharmacists, trainee pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, apprentice pre-registration trainee technicians and apprentice pharmacy assistants
  • Innovating in the education of the pharmacy staff to ensure that the pharmacy department is at the forefront of changes

The excellent reputation of the pharmacy department for education and training has been maintained over many years and supports the Trust initiatives to be a world class centre for clinical education.

Rotational training posts

Resident pharmacists

The pharmacy departments are accredited training centres for the Postgraduate Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice of the Joint Programmes Board (South East England). This programme is central to the training and development of newly qualified pharmacists. It ensures that academic development runs parallel with their day-to-day work in the pharmacy, on the wards and while on call as a resident pharmacist.

Workplace-based assessment ensures that development is monitored and tailored to the individual practitioner. The programme allows our resident pharmacists to develop competence as well as prepare them for more senior positions within the NHS in the future.

Trainee pharmacists

The pharmacy departments offer a comprehensive 1-year training programme for trainee pharmacists. The course is managed by a designated Education Programme Director and aims to develop competence in all areas of pharmacy practice. Trainees gain exposure to several clinical specialities during their training which may include Paediatrics, HIV, Intensive Care, Surgery, Medicine and Mental Health depending on site. Clinical tutorials and team meetings complement our in-house and regional training schemes.

Recruitment is via a national scheme Oriel.

Rotational pharmacy technicians

The Pharmacy Departments offer a rotational pharmacy technician programme which is designed to help newly qualified pharmacy technicians gain experience to facilitate independent practice within specialist sections. Rotations include Inpatients Dispensary and ward based medicines management duties. The training provided in each rotation is competency-based.

There may be an opportunity for further career development which could include becoming an Accredited Checking Pharmacy Technician (ACPT) and undertaking the Medicines Optimisation Programme (MOP).

Pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians

The Pharmacy Department offers a comprehensive 2-year training programme for pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians. This training is provided on both sites and by means of a 1-day per week either via college attendance or distance learning. During the two years, trainees rotate through the following specialist sections: Inpatients Dispensary, Outpatients Dispensary, Boots Outpatients, Distribution, Technical Services, Goods Receipt, Buying Office, Medicines Information, Medicines Management, Clinical, Clinical Trials, a Specialist week and Clinical Governance & Audit. On completion of this training programme, successful candidates are awarded the BTEC Level 3 Diploma in the Principles and Practice for Pharmacy Technicians.

We aim to recruit once a year for pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians for September intake.

Pharmacy assistants

Pharmacy Assistants work in the following specialist sections: Dispensary, Distribution and Goods Receipt. All Pharmacy Assistants undertake Level 2 NVQ Certificate in Pharmacy Service Skills apprenticeship. This is an ideal way to gain experience in hospital pharmacy and to facilitate the future application to a pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians position.


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