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Pharmacy workforce group for genomics to recruit new members in England

NHS England’s pharmacy workforce group for genomics is seeking to recruit five new pharmacist or pharmacy technician members.

Both pharmacy professionals with specialist expertise in genomics and those in the early stages of their career can apply, with expressions of interest to be submitted via an online form by 15 January 2024.

Applicants must outline any genomic medicine experience, qualifications and skills they have, as well as any relevant workforce, training or education experience.

The pharmacy workforce group for genomics was set up to encourage national collaboration around pharmacy workforce planning and education relating to genomics.

It comes as part of the Government’s Genome UK strategy, which aims to increase understanding of the potential benefits of genomic healthcare among healthcare providers, patients and the public.

Key to this will be to increase visibility of genomics and ‘committing to open, honest engagement about what is involved’, the Government has said.

In the strategy, pharmacists are listed among the professions that encounter genomics within their role, and ‘play a vital role in the genomic healthcare ecosystem’.

And the Government has committed to ensuring all new pharmacists, ‘have a level of awareness and knowledge of genomics that is relevant to their role’ upon graduation.

The recent NHS long-term workforce plan also outlined the need to ‘upskill the workforce with core skills and increase the number of expert roles’ in genomics.

In the plan, NHS England also pledged to continue introducing training and education through the national Genomics Training Academy, and to work with partners and the Genomics Medicine Service to deliver more training virtually and share best practice across NHS region.

Health leaders across the UK have highlighted the importance of pharmacogenomics education for the pharmacist workforce, as well as the need to make genomics data easily accessible to clinicians for use in their decision making.

In summer 2023, a survey found nearly two-thirds of UK qualified pharmacists did not feel confident at identifying drugs that required pharmacogenomic testing.

A version of this article was originally published by our sister publication The Pharmacist.

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