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Pharmacy Reg Pic

 (Pictured: Megan Lipscombe, Sophie Hughes, Mark Nelson, and Olivia Meadows)


Training Programme

The rotational pre-registration programme covers all aspects of pharmacy: clinical services, dispensary, aseptics, medicines information, audit & community pharmacy.

Our successful training programme has meant that since 2008 all trainees have passed the registration exam and the majority have then stayed on at Wirral as resident clinical pharmacists.


Programme Timetable

Detailed programme timetable


Clinical Experience

Each pre-registration trainee has their own core ward for the year where they work alongside an experienced pharmacist and medicines management technician. Hands-on clinical experience is also gained in a variety of medical and surgical specialties and in critical care, haematology, neonatology, renal dialysis and hospice care.


Following a comprehensive induction, each trainee initially spends time in the key operational areas of the department: dispensary, aseptics and medicines information.  They gain experience of different prescription types and develop their product knowledge. Structured training programmes in each of these areas support learning.


Students spend time on the wards with medicines management technicians (MMT), completing training in medication history taking and counselling. Weekly dispensary slots are continued to enable the students to achieve their accuracy checking qualification.  Some time is also spent in stores and distribution learning roles of the different members of the team to gain an understanding of how medicines are procured and the systems for supplying stock medicines to wards.


Each trainee spends 4 weeks completing an audit whilst continuing some dispensary slots and MMT work.  They develop skills in audit data collection, write up and then will be required to present their project locally and regionally as a poster and/or oral presentation.


The trainee will be introduced to clinical work at ward level under the supervision of their allocated clinical tutor (a senior pharmacist) learning more about the role of the pharmacist and gaining basic clinical experience.  A structured training programme ensures they develop the fundamental clinical skills needed to assess the appropriateness of drug therapy and maximise its benefit in individual patients.
This rotation includes spending time in a variety of medical and surgical specialties in addition to St John's Hospice. During these specialised clinical visits, students will have the opportunity to attend ward rounds and shadow pharmacists and other healthcare professionals on wards and in clinics.

Cross sector experience in community pharmacy and further medicines information training is also completed during this time.


From the beginning of May, trainees become clinically responsible for an increasing number of patients on a ward under supervision. Responsibility is also increased in the dispensary by managing work flow through ‘team leading’. This is to ensure that by the end of the pre-registration year, the trainee able to work confidently and competently as a pharmacist. 

The pre-registration students sit in-house mock pre-registration exams in May to help prepare them for the June exam.


Support for pre-registration trainees

Wirral trainees participate in both the North Mersey and North West Regional Pre-registration Pharmacist study day programmes which run continuously throughout the year.  Trainees also participate in weekly departmental education sessions and in-house tutorials.

There are numerous people who will provide support for the trainee during the year:

Pre-registration Manager co-ordinates and oversees the training programme and supports the clinical and pre-registration tutors as well as the trainees.

Pre-registration Tutors: each trainee has their own tutor who will meet regularly with them and ensure they are fully supported throughout the year.  They also complete the GPhC progress reports for the trainees.

Clinical Tutors: each trainee has their own clinical tutor who ensures that they develop the necessary clinical knowledge and skills as they rotate through the different clinical specialties and work alongside them on their ‘core’ ward.  They are responsible for signing off the clinical training pack for the pre-registration training.

Pre-reg Buddy – each trainee is allocated a buddy which will usually be one of the previous year’s trainees.  They will contact the trainee a couple of months before the training year starts to help with any questions they might have.  They will then be a source of advice/support throughout the year.  The buddy is someone who understands exactly what it is like to be a pre-reg at Wirral and will be able to give handy tips for getting the most out of the training year.


I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a pre-registration pharmacist at Wirral University Teaching Hospital. I feel that the quality of training is very high and that the format of the year works well, giving you more responsibility as the year goes on. As a pre-registration pharmacist you get to spend time in medicines information, aseptics and the dispensary whilst also spending time in many specialist areas across the hospital including renal, haematology, children's and intensive care. Having a core ward to spend time on towards the end of the year is extremely beneficial as you can build up confidence and experience with a large support network of pharmacists and technicians behind you. Staff members within the department are very friendly and there is always support when you need it. - Megan Lipscombe, Pre-registration Pharmacist

As a pre-registration pharmacist at Wirral University Teaching hospital you are given the opportunity to follow a patient’s journey from when they are first admitted to hospital to when they are discharged. This ranges from assessing patient’s medication on admission, accompanying ward rounds and influencing prescribing decisions, being involved in part of the dispensing process and preparing patients for when they leave hospital. You are exposed to many different areas within pharmacy and given the opportunity to develop and progress within each area. You also have the option of attending acute pain ward rounds, observing surgical procedures, accompanying diabetic nurses and stoma nurses which helps you to see the patient’s journey from another perspective. Learning in such a friendly and welcoming environment really helped me to reach my full potential whilst making great friends along the way. - Kelly Connah, Pre-registration Pharmacist


For further information on our pre-registration programme or to book onto one of our open days please contact the Pharmacy Education and Training Team tel: 01516047634 

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