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CCA: NHSE’s failure to solve lack of DPPs risks worsening workforce crisis


CCA: NHSE’s failure to solve lack of DPPs risks worsening workforce crisis

The Company Chemists’ Association has said NHS England is failing to ensure there are enough designated prescribing practitioners (DPPs), leaving “significant” numbers of pharmacy graduates struggling to find employment and community pharmacy facing a worsening workforce crisis. 

From September 2026, all newly qualified pharmacists will become independent prescribers on the day they register but they will need to complete 90 hours of training with a DPP in line with changes to the foundation year.

However, the CCA said it has repeatedly raised concerns with NHSE that DPPs are in short supply and warned its failure to address the situation will lead to pharmacies offering fewer foundation placements.

The CCA, who claimed NHSE has repeatedly assured it there are “sufficient DPPs within the system,” urged it to provide a list of all the organisations that have DPPs before students are given placement information.

“We are hearing from pharmacies that they cannot find the DPPs that NHS England says are available,” the CCA said.

Its CEO Malcolm Harrison said NHSE “must take control of the situation and provide a full list of all organisations with available DPPs.”

“We want to avoid a situation where our members are unable to offer placements to pharmacy students graduating in 2025,” he said.

“This risk to pharmacy graduate placements can be avoided is swift and decisive action is taken by NHS England now. Employers do not want to be forced to remove foundation placements from Oriel (the UK-wide portal for recruitment to foundation pharmacy training), especially considering the existing workforce challenges and exciting opportunities that independent prescribing offers.”

The NPA recently advised its members to consider withdrawing from Oriel if they did not have access to a DPP.

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