AHP and pharmacy training and education

Allied health professionals (AHPs)

The Directorate of Education provides a central resource to support the development of  allied health professionals and scientific and technical education.

The education team and our educational supervisors are experienced professionals who are committed to facilitating and supporting educational activities for allied health professionals. The team works in partnership with local commissioners, primary care and higher education institutes to develop our workforce so they are able to achieve their potential and career development.

The function focuses on:

  • Education and training for non-medical clinical staff in order to ensure safe patient care
  • Developing educational career pathways that support changing workforce needs including academic career pathways
  • Promoting excellence in pre-registration education across all professions
  • Building additional skills for research, innovation and leadership
  • Ensuring responsive education to meet specific clinical priorities
  • Embedding and sustaining educational solutions in partnership with stakeholders


Our pharmacy employs over 180 staff and we place significant emphasis on their education and development. We have four clinical lecturers and close links with the University of Brighton and University of Sussex Pharmacy and Medical Schools (BSMS) as well as the Brighton and Sussex Centre for Medicines Optimisation.

We are a friendly and dynamic pharmacy department that provides pharmacy services across all Trust sites.

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 anticoagulation, cardiology, education & development, general medicine, critical care, neurosciences, renal medicine, oncology, HIV, surgery, paediatrics, medicines information, technical services and antimicrobial prescribing. Pharmacists are involved in the running of a variety of clinics, such as anti-retroviral, inflammatory bowel disease, hepatitis and heart failure.

Our staff routinely engage in interprofessional training with other healthcare professionals within the Trust and with medical students from BSMS. In addition, our strong links with both BSMS and the newly established Brighton and Sussex Centre for Medicines Optimisation means numerous research projects, which helps to develop our own services, shapes pharmacy practice and contributes to patient care nationwide.

We offer a comprehensive training programme. Trainees give very positive feedback on their experience here and are actively involved in developing it for the future.

Rotations and placements

Pre-registration trainee pharmacists (PTPs)  rotate through the Trust’s specialties and undertake external rotations, including a two-week cross-sector experience in the community pharmacy, and one week placements in mental health and clinical commissioning group.

All PTPs rotate cross-site gaining experience both at the Royal Sussex County and Princess Royal Hospitals. This maximises their training opportunities in a variety of specialties, provides them with a deeper insight into the practices at both centres, and serves as a preparation for their professional lives post-registration.

Support and development

  • A designated practice supervisor on each roation who provides guidance and support.
  • A dedicated tutor (educational supervisor) with regular meetings held to support development throughout the year.
  • Opportunities to give feedback during the weekly ‘communication cascades’ and Local Faculty Group meetings.
  • Protected time to undertake Quality Improvement Projects. The projects are linked to the Trust’s and departmental priorities, with all trainees producing audits to a high standard and presenting them regionally.
  • Weekly training sessions throughout the year, facilitated by pharmacy specialists, to support various rotations undertaken.
  • Monthly training with PTPs from East Sussex and Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trusts
  • Additional in-house training opportunities including therapeutic evenings, pharmacy and medical grand rounds and foundation doctor training.
  • Comprehensive regional study day programme organised by Health Education London and the South East.
  • PTPs are encouraged to attend national pharmacy conferences, such as the Clinical Pharmacy Congress.
  • Involvement in facilitating the placement supervision of second year University of Brighton pharmacy students and in organising the cross-sector experience placements at BSUH for community pharmacy PTPs including their timetable, induction and supervision during the placement.

Open days for prospective PTPs

We hold a number of open afternoons for prospective PTPs  each year. Dates will be announced shortly.  The places are limited and booked on a first-come-first-served basis. In order to reserve your place, please email Louise Virgo, Pharmacy Education and Development Administration Manager, on Louise.Virgo@bsuh.nhs.uk.

Career opportunities for newly qualified pharmacists

We advertise for a varying number of rotational post-registration posts for newly qualified pharmacists each year.

We provide appointees with excellent training opportunities in core rotations, which allow newly qualified pharmacists to develop confidence as foundation pharmacists.

Foundation pharmacists are encouraged and supported to undertake the Joint Programme Board General Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (HEKSS Foundation Pharmacist Programme).

For more information, contact alice.conway@bsuh.nhs.uk.

We offer a 4 week voluntary summer student experience within the pharmacy department to 3rd year undergraduate pharmacy students.

This provides an opportunity to spend time with members of our pharmacy team and to observe the delivery of patient-centred pharmaceutical care. Summer students are expected to present a case-based discussion to their peers and to maintain a portfolio of practice.

Click here to find out how to apply


We currently have 6 pre-registration trainee pharmacy technicians (PTPTs) undertaking a 2 year rotational training placement.


Trainees rotate through the following key sections within the department:

  • Patient Services (Dispensary and Ward services)
  • Medicines Information
  • Technical Services (Aseptics)
  • Clinical Trials and Outpatient Pharmacy (CIRU and Pharm@Sea)
  • Procurement, Receipt and Distribution (ordering, invoicing, receipt, stock maintenance and issuing of pharmaceutical stock)
  • Medicines Management (assessing Patient’s Own Drugs (POD), transcribing for supply, drug histories and counselling


PTPTs are expected to undertake two qualifications simultaneously:

  • NVQ Level 3 in Pharmacy Service Skills (work place based qualification, completed via on-line portfolio)
  • BTEC Level 3 in Pharmaceutical Science (underpinning knowledge qualification, delivered via blended learning)

Each PTPT has a designated lead assessor (educational supervisor) and separate “section specific” assessors (practice supervisors) for specialist rotations e.g. Aseptics, Dispensary and Medicines Management.

More information

Contact carra.allen@bsuh.nhs.uk for more information.

We have approximately 30 Pharmacy Assistant Technical Officers (ATOs) working within the following key sections within pharmacy:

  • Patient Services (Dispensary)
  • Technical Services (Aseptics)
  • Clinical Trials
  • Stores & Distribution (goods inward, ordering, maintaining and issuing pharmaceutical stock)

Pharmacy Assistants are expected to undertake the NVQ Level 2 (or equivalent course) in Pharmacy Service Skills over a 12 month period. This is currently provided via a distance learning provider and each candidate has a designated supervising Pharmacy Technician and Pharmacist to work with to complete a combination of workbooks, witnessed activities and multiple choice questions.

Contact carra.allen@bsuh.nhs.uk for more information.

Pharmacy assistants and pharmacy technicians can access post-qualification training and accreditation to develop in their roles and to work towards more senior positions.

Pharmacy assistants

Medicines Management module 1 (PODs and Supply), Practice Supervisor Accreditation, appraisal and sickness absence management training. These roles can enable them to move to working on wards alongside Clinical Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians to contribute to Medicines Optimisation, complete discharges at ward level and also become team leaders for areas, running day to day activities and line managing band 2 ATOs.

Pharmacy technicians

Medicines Management modules 1 & 2 (POD & Supply and Medicines Reconciliation), Accredited Checking Pharmacy Technician, Practice Supervisor, AVA qualification, IQA qualification, appraisal and sickness absence management training. Pharmacy Technicians can progress into senior roles in the department, managing services and areas of the Pharmacy overall.

Pharmacy Technicians are expected to be members of the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education to access CPD, ongoing learning activities and network with cross sector colleagues and share knowledge. They are also encouraged to join the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK to gain access to professional resources, development frameworks, showcase work at national conference and contribute to the ever evolving role of pharmacy technicians.