NHS priorities

Whether it’s to prepare for the next Pharmacy Quality Scheme deadline, or to increase your confidence in helping people with a learning disability, this section provides topic-specific pages that link to current NHS priorities. This section will support you in keeping your knowledge and skills up to date in order to provide high-quality pharmacy services and be service-ready.

Clinical pharmacy

Our clinical portfolio is expanding on a frequent basis, helping you to advance your knowledge and skills and deliver medicines optimisation in practice for all sectors of pharmacy. From two new focal points a year to our small group learning for hospital pharmacists – Optimise – this section focuses on clinical pharmacy, diseases and therapeutics.

Public health

The public health agenda is embedded in pharmacy, yet topics such as emergency contraception or stop smoking support are as prevalent as ever. As well as our public health workshops, use this section to access a wide range of resources to assure and maintain your competence, all underpinned by the Declaration of Competence system.

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e-course

Primary care essentials e-course


  • Released: 04/2020
  • Reviewed: 09/2023
  • Study time: 70h:0m
  • Start date: Anytime

This Primary care essentials e-course is a standalone module. However, it also forms part of the Primary care pharmacy education pathway which is the training for pharmacy professionals with roles in primary care networks (PCN). You can access the pathway here.

The aim of this e-course is to introduce the fundamentals of new roles in primary care for those who are not eligible for the Primary care pharmacy education pathway.

This e-course will cover NHS structure and primary care, introduction to local general practice and care homes, medicines optimisation, medication review, prescribing and repeat prescribing, prescribing data, clinical information technology systems, audits, evidence-based use of medicines, working with the multidisciplinary team and person-centred professionalism.

By working through the activities in each unit and focusing on the tasks relating to your role, you will develop knowledge, skills, experience, and behaviours to support you in a role in primary care.

We have structured the programme into ten learning units and we estimate that you will probably need to commit between eight to ten hours of learning per unit to gain maximum benefit from the programme.

Learning outcomes

On completion of all aspects of this learning programme you should be able to:

  • explain NHS structure and the commissioning landscape in primary care
  • understand the role general practice and care homes play in delivering the public health agenda and signposting to other healthcare providers such as community pharmacy
  • define your PCN patient population and the roles and responsibilities of the wider healthcare team
  • define how pharmacy professionals work in patient-facing roles as part of the PCN
  • identify the features of good-quality prescribing, repeat prescribing and repeat dispensing
  • use prescribing data to identify priorities to improve prescribing and patient care
  • access clinical IT systems to document activities and run searches
  • measure prescribing practice using audits
  • promote medicines optimisation to improve patient outcomes relating to medicines and to reduce waste
  • identify trusted sources of evidence-based information and communicate effectively with the multidisciplinary team
  • identify patients for medication review and support the multidisciplinary team to improve medication reviews
  • develop relationships with the wider multidisciplinary team and promote networking
  • demonstrate person-centred professionalism
  • explain the importance of good quality pharmacy practice research to effective primary care practice.

How to use this programme

We run our e-courses online in Canvas. After booking, if you have not used Canvas before you will be registered by CPPE and informed of your login details. This e-course is self-directed. This means that you can work through the course at a time and pace that suits you. In Canvas there will be a menu on the left for navigating through each area, so that you can access each unit and its content separately.

Learning intended for

  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy technicians
  • Trainee pharmacists