Pharmacists from Lincolnshire Co-op are helping students through an innovative new course run by the University of Lincoln.
The MPharm course,which lasts four years and was developed with help from Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacists, offers an integrated learning style where student learn the chemistry of medicines alongside the interpersonal skills needed to deal with patients.
Alastair Farquhar, head of pharmacy at Lincolnshire Co-op, said: “Historically it’s been difficult recruiting pharmacists in the eastern counties of England. This new style of course is really making a difference and filling a gap as a regional centre for pharmacy education.”
Penny Mosley, a Lincolnshire Co-op pharmacist and teacher practitioner, said: “Being a pharmacist has a much wider skill set these days. With traditional courses students had to pull these skills together themselves in their pre-registration year. This course is more up to date and integrated – students get the science and the practice in the same week, if not the same seminar.”
The first year covers medicines and diseases related to babies and children, the second focuses on young adults, the third looks at middle age and the fourth year covers the elderly.
Students build on these skills with placements at the society’s pharmacies.
Mr Farquhar added: “It’s like a four-year interview for us too. We get to see them regularly and they can build up a relationship with Lincolnshire Co-op – hopefully some of them will go on to join our team of pharmacists. It’s a perfect example of business working with education.”
The course is centred around the Lincoln Science and Innovation Park, a project led by Lincolnshire Co-op and the University of Lincoln to create a focal point for innovation and investment in science and technology across the region.
The first cohort of students will graduate in summer 2018.