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Education & Training

The pharmacy department at St Mary’s hospital actively supports the training and development of its staff to ensure their knowledge and skills are up to date.

All pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are required to complete regular Continued Professional Development.


After spending four years at University studying for their MPharm pharmacy degree, pharmacists have to complete a pre-registration year in a pharmacy. During this time, they build a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate they have the skills, knowledge and behaviours to be a safe and effective pharmacist. At the end of the pre-registration year they sit an exam and having passed this, they can register with the General Pharmaceutical Council as a pharmacist. More information on this can be found here from the GPhC

Once qualified, the training continues. Newly qualified pharmacists work in a rotation through various aspects of hospital pharmacy that may include aseptic and technical services, medical wards, surgical and orthopaedic wards, the dispensary, the Earl Mountbatten Hospice, the NHS medicines helpline and hospital admissions. There may also be opportunities for specialist rotations including antibiotics and mental health pharmacy.

Pharmacists are given the opportunity to study part time at University to achieve their Post Graduate Certificate in clinical pharmacy. They may then choose to continue to study a Post Graduate Diploma in clinical pharmacy. Some pharmacists go on to gain accreditation in independent prescribing or to study for a specialist degree.

Some pharmacists then go on to become specialists in clinical teams such as mental health or surgical pharmacy.

Student Pharmacy technicians

St Mary’s hospital pharmacy department supports up to three pre-registration pharmacy technician trainees at any one time. These trainees who are with the department for two years, go to college once a week to study for their BTEC Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science and complete their NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Services in-house. For the rest of their time they gain experience in the different areas of hospital pharmacy to help build their portfolio.

Once qualified, pharmacy technicians are required to register with the General Pharmaceutical Council.

Many pharmacy technicians are given the opportunity to become accredited in extended roles such as Accuracy Checking and Medicines Management.


St Mary’s hospital pharmacy welcome students to visit the department to see what hospital pharmacies do.

Every year we give up to four pharmacy students from university a chance to spend a few weeks in the department. We also arrange taster days and visits for students, including local 6th form students.

Other healthcare professionals

The pharmacy department participate in the training and development of a variety of healthcare professionals.

Medical students during their last year at university attend a number of sessions run by pharmacy to learn about safe and effective prescribing.

Pharmacy provide training for all staff requiring access to the Electronic Prescribing and Medicine Administration system (the electronic drug chart).

Pharmacy staff also contribute to junior doctor training and the training and development of nursing staff.


In addition to the advice provided on an individual basis to patients about their medicines, pharmacy staff provide education and training to groups of patients regarding medicines for their heart (via Heart Care Club) and breathing (via Pulmonary Rehab).

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