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Surrey and Sussex (SASH) nourishes a learning culture hosting many trainees from different educational backgrounds
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East Surrey Hospital is a growing District General Hospital with around 500 beds, and a full range of specialities. We have a comprehensive in-house training which includes ward visits, regular case presentations and meetings with your Educational supervisor. Trainees will be expected to compile a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their experience. Time will be spent in a variety of areas including surgery and medicine, dispensary, medicines information and cancer services. Trainees will have opportunity to experience a wide range of clinical specialities including general medicine, cardiology, surgery, gastroenterology and paediatrics.

Pharmacists and pharmacy support staff are involved in the provision of clinical services for the majority of specialties within the Trust. We have a large number of pharmacist prescribers working in the areas of acute medicine, respiratory, surgery and others.

Surrey and Sussex (SASH) nourishes a learning culture hosting many trainees from different educational backgrounds. Therefore, where opportunities arise, pharmacist and technician would be expected to support others during their work experience (for instance, A-level’s and pharmacy undergraduate students) to the best of your abilities.


  • Provide some insight into the workings of a hospital pharmacy department and the roles of hospital pharmacists
  • Help you to make informed career choices
  • Offer an opportunity to refine or develop transferable skills & pharmacy specific skills
  • Encourage you to compile evidence of these skills which will be a valuable asset during interviews
  • Prepare for pre-registration competency based training (which also requires evidence of competence in certain key skills)

Pharmacy Prescribing Induction Video

Summer Student

We are able to offer summer student placements for 4 weeks for 4 students, with the aim to observe hospital pharmacists and other staff working in a range of healthcare settings in order to gain an appreciation of the working of a hospital pharmacy.

Summer students are also able to perform a variety of routine tasks under close supervision and following standard procedures in order to gain basic skills and experience. This includes tasks such as drug history taking, medicines reconciliation and medicine counselling.

By the end of the placement, the student should be able to:-

  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists, pre-registration pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and assistants
  • Describe the roles of other health care professionals employed within the healthcare sector
  • Describe the functions of pharmacy departments within your placement Trust
  • Give examples of career structures within NHS pharmacy
  • Examine educational opportunities available to NHS pharmacy staff

Transferable Skills
Team working
Problem identification
Problem solving
Oral communication
Written communication
Time management
Information technology
Improving own learning and performance
Reflective practice
Recording a portfolio

Transferable Skills
Medication history taking
Patient consultation
Retrieving information from patient notes
Literature searching
Clinical audit
Identifying drug interactions
Monitoring drug therapy
Aseptic preparation
Small scale manufacturing
Advising another healthcare professional

Each of summer students will be assigned a project or an audit to undertake during the placement. Whilst these projects are likely to be a pilot or a small-scale audit, they may form the basis for larger future projects and may eventually contribute to either service or clinical developments. This is very beneficial experience in preparation for your pre-registration training year during which you are required to engage in audit activities.

At the end of the experience, you will be asked to prepare a brief report and a short presentation based on your project and will present it to your supervisor and your peers.

Pre-Registration Pharmacist

A hospital pharmacy pre-registration training year provides a variety of activities and experiences that enable you to develop your professional, clinical, technical, communication, interpersonal and management skills in preparation for your career in pharmacy.

You will undertake comprehensive training in a range of patient facing services e.g. dispensary and clinical/ward based pharmacy.

Team working is a vital part of dispensary services to ensure work is carried out efficiently.

Hospital dispensaries provide a range of services to:

  • Inpatients on hospital wards
  • Outpatients attending clinics
  • Patients being discharged

Pharmacist input is mainly focused on:

  • Clinical checking of incoming prescriptions for accuracy and appropriateness, prior to dispensing – liaising with prescribers where necessary
  • Giving information to healthcare professional and patients on the safe and effective use of medicines

A key role of a pharmacy department that involves understanding and working knowledge of:

  • How medicines are purchased (involves contracting and negotiation)
  • How stock is managed in the most cost-effective way (reducing wastage)
  • How pharmaceuticals are received and distributed throughout the hospital (knowledge on product availability and effective sourcing of products that are in short supply)

Pharmacy departments:

  • Source, order, store and dispense investigational products
  • Offer advice and information to patients about their study medication
  • Contribute to protocol development and design of necessary documentation e.g. randomisation schedules and standard operating procedures

Clinical Pharmacists work directly with patients and collaborate with a range of healthcare professionals to ensure medicines are used safely, effectively and in a cost effective manner. Clinical pharmacists work closely with budget holders and senior clinicians to ensure that NHS resources for medicines are used efficiently.

Main ward based clinical pharmacy activities include:

  • Reviewing prescription charts
  • Attending medical ward rounds
  • Undertaking Medicines Reconciliation (which includes taking medication histories, influencing prescribing, providing prescribing advice)
  • Counselling patients on the use of their medicines
  • Answering medicines-related queries from both patients and other healthcare professionals
  • Discharge planning in collaboration with other healthcare professionals to ensure that patients experience a seamless transition from hospital to home

Clinical pharmacists work closely with clinical pharmacy technicians with medicines management roles whose main activities include assessment of suitability of Patient Own Drugs (PODs) for reuse and One Stop Dispensing services where in-patient and discharge medication are combined into a single supply, labelled for discharge.

The pharmacy led Medicines Information (MI) service provides evidence-based, unbiased information and advice on any aspect of medicine usage to healthcare professionals and the public. The National organisation – UKMI has developed a comprehensive training pack used for pre-registration trainee pharmacists to complement the training provided at the base hospital

Examples of MI enquiries include:

  • Medication identification
  • Stability information
  • Medicine use during pregnancy and lactation

Other activities include:

  • Evaluation of new medicines for hospital committees
  • Information bulletins for healthcare professionals
  • Formulary management

The overarching role of pharmacy practice in a hospital is to help people who are unwell to get better, to stop them from becoming unwell again and to prevent them from becoming unwell in the first place. Hospital pharmacists achieve this by using their knowledge and expertise with medicines. Pharmacists practicing in specialisations such as medicines information, aseptic services, clinical pharmacy and the dispensary can all make a difference to patient care, which gives the pharmacy team and individuals great satisfaction.

Working in a hospital means more than being in the pharmacy as it involves being part of the healthcare team and working closely with all other healthcare professionals to provide advice and support.

As a hospital pre-registration trainee pharmacist you will consider individual patients’ needs, and spend time with patients making sure that they get the optimum benefit from their medicines.

As part of your pre-registration training the aim will be to build you into a Hospital pharmacist, which will involve

  • Direct involvement in patient care; influencing treatment choices by being involved in decision making at the point of prescribing; making a difference to the patient; a sense of contribution.
  • Being part of a multi-professional team; extensive professional and social networks in the pharmacy and throughout the hospital.
  • The opportunity to get input from, observe, and work with several pharmacists rather than just one role model
  • Continuing professional and career development.
  • Generous annual leave entitlements & access to the NHS pension scheme

Rotation for pre-registration are split up according to exam layout, to aid revision as well as exposure to.

  • There are a number of
  • Mental health
  • CCG
  • Community placement
  • Clinical trial
  • Cancer services
  • Study afternoons
  • Regional study days

To aid our pharmacist on the ward we enrol our junior pharmacist in Certificate and Diploma in clinical pharmacy, we enrol with Heath Education England London and South East Kent Surrey and Sussex Foundation Pharmacist Programme (HEE LaSE KSS FPP) it has been designed to develop the skills of practitioners to enable them to become effective and confident pharmacists. It takes 18 months to complete certificate and a further 12 month to complete the diploma.

Managers are education supervisors for junior pharmacist and are expected to meet on a monthly basis to help facilitate learning situation and alleviate any issues as swiftly and effectively as possible

Hospital pharmacists at SASH are involved in a number of different ways

  • Direct involvement in patient care; influencing treatment choices by being involved in decision making at the point of prescribing; making a difference to the patient; a sense of contribution.
  • Being part of a multi-professional team; extensive professional and social networks in the pharmacy and throughout the hospital.
  • Support from fellow pharmacists and colleagues, is always available.
  • The opportunity to get input from, observe, and work with several pharmacists rather than just one role model, enabling you to formulate your own preferred practice.
  • A clearly defined career structure with opportunities to develop a range of skills which may include technical, clinical, educational or managerial skills.
  • Recognition of your expertise in whatever speciality you choose; acknowledgement of your achievements; pharmacists and pharmacy services are highly valued by colleagues and management.
  • Continuing professional and career development.
  • Generous annual leave entitlements & access to the NHS pension scheme.

We aim to facilitate work place development, with as much support as the service can offer and try to ensure varied rotations for band 6 in the following rotation:

  • Cancer services
  • Medicine information
  • Cardiology
  • Endocrine
  • Acute medicine
  • Stroke
  • Care of the elderly
  • Respiratory
  • Orthopaedics
  • ENT
  • Urology
  • Rehab community services

Band 6’s are encourage to present cases and present journals as part of the education and training requirements for the department, allowing great opportunity for junior pharmacist to take a lead in being able to develop the department.

In addition for Band 7 they cover the following wards

  • Acute medical unit
  • Gastro – upper and lower
  • Surgical assessment unit
  • Lane Fox – Specialist respiratory centre

Band 7 pharmacist gains more managerial and clinical focus, managing mini-teams and targeting a certain clinical area. To develop pharmacist during diploma, once they finish diploma opportunities is given to allow pharmacist to focus on either a more managerial set of skills or specialise in a certain area, with time pharmacist will be given the opportunity to do both.

We also run regular clinical presentation, internal and external speakers as well as journal club, where we evaluate journals together.

Independent Prescribing

For post diploma pharmacists there is an opportunity to complete the non-medical prescribing accreditation at local higher education institutes (University of Brighton and Medway School of Pharmacy). The pharmacist chooses a particular specialist area which requires pharmacist prescribing to be of benefit to patients and a designated tutor is assigned. This tutor is called a designated medication practitioner (DMP) and they are a consultant within that speciality. Examples of recent pharmacists completing the course are respiratory specialist pharmacists and pharmacists preventing falls.

The course length varies from 4- 8 months and during this period the pharmacist is required as per the GPHC to undertake 90 hours of supervised time with their DMP. During these 90 hours competencies are achieved in the diagnosis and treatment of specific conditions within their chosen speciality.

This accreditation allows the pharmacist to specialise in a particular area and be involved in activities such as running their own clinics, prescribing pre-admission medication and de-prescribing. Following accreditation the pharmacist is legally allowed to prescribe any medications within their competency.

Pharmacy Support

Overall career progression and qualification/training that is offered at Surrey and Sussex:

  • Apprenticeship
    • NVQ level 2
  • Assistant technical officer
    • NVQ level 2
    • CD dispensing
    • Medicine Optimisation Programme module 1
  • Pre-registration pharmacy Technician
    • BTEC
    • NVQ pharmacy series level 3
    • Level 1 & 2 MMT in-house accreditation
    • Medicine Optimisation Programme module 1
  • Pharmacy Technician
    • National MOP module 1 and 2
    • Accredited checking technician course
    • Operation supervisor role
    • AQA NVQ assessor course
    • MOP facilitator and witness

There will be opportunity to develop organisation skills, to actively co-ordinate the work of the dispensary staff to ensure the provision of a high quality service, in a timely and efficient manner for all service users.

To participate in final accuracy checking across all SaSH pharmacy areas (once trained and validated in appropriate areas) in accordance with professional and ethical standards. Maintaining standards specified by the GPhC and in accordance with departmental procedures, time and dispensing and checking accuracy standards.

Education Campus Reception

01737 231722

SASH Education Campus
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust Trust Headquarters
East Surrey Hospital

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