New facilities to develop next generation pharmacists

Posted on 09 December 2015
The opportunities for pharmacists are enormous and of course those choosing to practice in the clinical setting are finding these opportunities developing and advancing at pace.

Keele University School of Pharmacy has officially opened its state-of-the-art pharmacy practice suite, helping the University produce the next generation of pharmacists.

In recent years, the role of a pharmacist has become increasingly integral to alleviating the pressure on doctors and GPs as well as contributing as the gateway to the health services. This new training facility has been designed to help Keele University in revolutionising the way pharmacy is taught within the School and to produce pharmacists that can take on an even more patient focused role.

The new suite includes a mock dispensary and seven consultation rooms complementing the University’s existing virtual reality training programme, Keele Active Virtual Environment (K.A.V.E.). K.A.V.E enables students to interact with patients, to diagnose conditions in patients in a three dimensional hospital setting, to simulate the manipulation of complex molecules and to digitally examine the human body by system or organ.

In order to help make the suite possible, the UK’s largest independent pharmacy chain, Well Pharmacy, has invested £130,000 in the Keele University School of Pharmacy. This investment encompasses Well’s on campus Pharmacy  which opened in the Summer and well as the Clinical Consulting Suite. The on campus pharmacy  and the Well Network, provides work placement opportunities for Keele University pharmacy students and also collaborative practice research between the two organisations.
Professor Nigel Ratcliffe, Head of the School of Pharmacy at Keele, said: “This is a very exciting time to be a pharmacy student at Keele University. The opportunities for pharmacists are enormous and of course those choosing to practice  in the clinical setting are finding these opportunities developing and advancing at pace. The pharmacist has a unique and advanced skills set keeping pace with the rapid development in pharmaceutical science and the optimisation of the use of medicines. The investment is welcomed by Keele as we can continue to provide the highest teaching standards to those choosing to enter the profession”

“It is absolutely important that the teaching and research within the School of Pharmacy keeps pace with the developing science and the needs of the multidisciplinary clinical teams serving the community. In all of our teaching the patient and unmet medical need, remains at the heart of the teaching and the student experience”

Keele has been recognised as the highest placed university in the National Student Survey for UK universities providing an undergraduate pharmacy training MPharm degree. Keele is also one of the largest postgraduate pharmacy training schools in the UK.

John Nuttall, CEO of Well, added: “This major investment with the opening of a new pharmacy and training facilities at Keele University, underlines our commitment not only to growing the Well Pharmacy  business over the next five years, but also the important role we can play in relieving some of the pressure faced by frontline NHS services.

“We have worked closely with Keele University’s Pharmacy School to create an outstanding new facility that will help equip students with the knowledge and skills essential for a successful career, especially as pharmacists play an increasingly important role as the first point of information for the public on their healthcare and wellbeing. We see Keele as an innovative and creative school of pharmacy with constant ambition to look for excellence in the provision of both undergraduate and post graduate pharmacy education ”