18th February 2022

Pharmacist independent prescribing

Non-medical prescribing or independent prescribing is the term used to describe any prescribing completed by a healthcare professional other than a doctor or dentist. Independent prescribers are responsible and accountable for the assessment of patients with undiagnosed and diagnosed conditions and for decisions about the clinical management required, including prescribing.


Whilst the newly registered pharmacist workforce will be independent prescribers from August 2026, the current workforce will be required to undertake a prescribing course, offered from a range of universities, to be able to prescribe. Each year HEIW Pharmacy allocates a set number of funded places to each health board and trust for pharmacists to undertake a prescribing course.

HEIW are committed to supporting the development of the pharmacist workforce to become prescribers, so funding has been allocated to support the pharmacists working in patient facing roles to undertake this training, to enable the continued development of pharmacy services to support the population of Wales.


Funding for 2023/24

For 2023/24 HEIW Pharmacy has secured funding for 300 pharmacists to undertake this training. These funded places on prescribing courses will be fairly allocated across Wales for all sectors of practice, with 150 of these places being ringfenced for community pharmacy.

For those community pharmacists who are employed by a specific pharmacy, HEIW also has 150 training grants of £3000 available to provide your employer with some funding to employ a locum to cover your release from the workplace to undertake the supervision in practice that all prescribing courses require.


Where can I study?

HEIW currently commissions prescribing courses at the following universities with Wales:

Requests for prescribing programmes in universities outside of Wales will be considered and funded, if it can be demonstrated that there is no equivalent course or places on prescribing courses available within Wales or the applicant has clearly demonstrated a valid reason for the request.


How do I apply?

The mechanism of applying for a funded place on a prescribing course is dependent on your sector of practice.

  • Working in managed sector (primary and secondary care)

If you work within the NHS managed sector, you will need to follow your health boards individual process of applying for a funded place. Your education and training lead will be able to provide you with more details on this process.


  • Working in NHS contractor establishments (GP practice & community pharmacy)

HEIW will supply the successful applicants with a sponsorship letter for the university and it is the responsibility of the applicant to apply directly to the university, as soon as possible, to secure a place. Please note that it is the university decision whether to accept your application, depending on their eligibility criteria.

To access the application form, please click here