Kingston University launches project to enhance pharmacy placement experience for students across London

Posted Wednesday 10 April 2024

Kingston University has joined forces with two other London universities to improve the placement experience of undergraduate pharmacy students, following funding from NHS England.

The £1.5 million project with University College London and King's College London will see the three universities work together to standardise and expand pharmacy undergraduate placements across the capital, facilitating consistency for providers who undertake initial training of pharmacists.

The scheme is also set to expand the number and variety of experiential placement sites across London, including care homes, mental health trusts, hospitals, GP surgeries and community pharmacies, so undergraduate pharmacy students can undertake the increased weeks of placements and become prescriber ready. This is a new requirement for newly-trained pharmacists – helping them to meet the new General Pharmaceutical Council standards.

The greater capacity of placement providers will help to make sure all three universities can liaise with their teaching and placement timetables, so students aren't competing for the same providers at the same time. This will allow students to get a greater breadth of vital first-hand experience and increase knowledge and clinical skills, helping London benefit from highly-skilled and highly-trained pharmacists.

Another part of the project will see the development and implementation of an e-Portfolio, meaning student learning outcomes will be signed off by supervisors in a more efficient, sustainable and streamlined way. This will enable greater accessibility and give students access to their portfolio on their smartphones and tablets, rather than the current way of having to document everything in a paper logbook - particularly helpful with students being marked against 55 learning outcomes.

In addition, all three universities are providing training to supervisors at all placement providers to ensure that every student is assessed in a consistent and unified way by their supervisors against learning outcomes.

This pan-London project, aimed at students on the four-year MPharm course, is ultimately ensuring all students across all three institutions are on a level-playing field when graduating and going into the workplace, due to a consistency of placement experience with the same standards and quality assurance processes across London.

Much of the project will be completed and in place for the start of the 2024/25 academic year.

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