NHS England and Health Education England commission NHS 111 course from University of Derby

The University of Derby is providing a free (online) educational and information resource aimed at supporting pharmacists who have been redeployed to NHS 111 services.

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been increasing pressure on NHS 111 services. As part of the strategy to mitigate this pressure, NHS England and NHS Improvement are redeploying pharmacists from other settings, including community pharmacy and CCGs, into a new ‘NHS 111 COVID-19 CAS’. This service has been set up to manage patients who require a discussion with a clinician following their use of NHS 111.

To support the rapid upskilling of pharmacists supporting the NHS 111 COVID-19 CAS, and in response to positive feedback from IUC pharmacy leads about the University of Derby’s full Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Service (IUC CAS) pharmacist course, two of the courses’ three modules have been made available online for free.

The course aims to introduce pharmacists to the IUC setting. Pharmacists wishing to further develop their knowledge and skills in this area can also apply for a full training course – as places are currently available.

NHS England and NHS Improvement, in partnership with Health Education England (HEE), first commissioned the University of Derby to develop and deliver an Integrated Urgent Care Clinical Assessment Service (IUC CAS) pharmacist programme 18 months ago.

The programme is aimed at NHS 111 and urgent care pharmacists and commissioned as part of the Pharmacy Integration Fund. The programme’s fifth cohort of pharmacists started on 27 March 2020.

Jill Gould, Lecturer in Post Registration Healthcare at the University of Derby, who has been leading the development of the resource, said: “This is an example of another successful collaboration between the University and Health Education England to facilitate transforming the workforce to deliver this essential 111 service. The online education resource, which was created rapidly in line with sector demands thanks to the online learning expertise within the University, aims to support the continuing development of frontline staff who have been making such a difference during these challenging times.

“As an applied University, this is an excellent model of a timely and relevant online course needed to support the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University, said: “As part of civic responsibilities, it is essential that we do all we can to support the brave and dedicated medical teams delivering care to those who have contracted, or who are showing symptoms, of the virus.

“Hundreds of our second and third year nursing and allied healthcare professions students are already supporting staff on the frontline in hospitals across the region, and we have donated thousands of items of PPE kit.

“This online course, which has been developed and made available to redeployed pharmacists for free, is another example of how the University is using the resources, skills and knowledge at our disposal to support the amazing work being done during these challenging times.”

More information can be found here.