January 16, 2024 | University Partners

Why pharmacists are looking to University of Bradford for mental health training

An NHS England-funded project that delivers mental health training to pharmacists working in community mental health teams across the country has reopened for applications.

The programme represents a significant achievement for the University of Bradford, which is the only university in England delivering this form of specialist training.

The Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway was developed in 2021/22 thanks to funding from Health Education England, which has since been absorbed into NHS England.

The key objectives for this training pathway are to empower pharmacists to safely deliver to the full scope of their professional capability and increase their competence in optimising medicines use for individuals with severe mental illness.

Some 70 new places are now available - select this link to apply. The course will run from March 2024 to April 2025.

University of Bradford Assistant Professor Diane Webb, pictured above, who leads the project, said: “This is a real achievement for the University of Bradford, because prior to this programme, for the last 20 years, there was only one other university providing recognised specialist mental health training. We’re delighted we have been recommissioned to continue delivering this pathway. It really does put Bradford on the map and shows the quality of training we are able to provide at a national level.”

The University of Bradford works alongside Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust to deliver the pathway to support the journey to advanced level practice for experienced pharmacists.

The Specialist Mental Health Training Pathway is a tailored 12-month programme designed to incorporate pillars of advanced practice, enhancing skills in leadership, research, education and medicines expertise.

Director of Studies and Postgraduate Lead at the University of Bradford Dr Gemma Quinn, pictured above, said: “This distance learning programme has been designed to help pharmacists provide excellent care for complex patients, and also to empower them to lead innovation and service improvement within our NHS.”

The Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway was developed in response to the NHS Long Term Plan and the NHS People Plan, with the aim of providing care for people with severe mental illness in new models of integrated primary and community care.

Who is eligible?

Candidates enrolling in this programme must:

  • be an experienced pharmacist registered with the GPhC
  • be working within a community/primary care mental health team (CMHT)
  • be working with patients with severe mental illness
  • be employed within the NHS, or through an NHS commissioned mental health service
  • have a written declaration of support from their line manager
  • have agreed ongoing work-based educational supervision/clinical supervision from a mental health specialist employed by a mental health provider organisation
  • complete the programme application form
  • agree to undertake a gateway training needs analysis, facilitated by the education provider, at the beginning of the programme.

Applications for cohort 3 of the Specialist Mental Health Pharmacist Training Pathway are now open. The deadline is Feb 22, 2024 to commence study from March 19.