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Hospital pharmacists association of ireland

The values of an educated workforce

9 May 2019 5:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

High performing organisations see the benefit in training their workforce. This is true in many sectors. It makes sense for members of staff to be up to date and skilled in their areas of expertise. This is especially relevant for professionals who need to use their specialist knowledge to expand and build on their skills to stay up to date and build their expertise.

There is a reward for this investment - better, higher quality services delivered by people who are actively engaged in their own careers and development. 

In healthcare the reasons for investment are strong - if you look back 10 years the technology and medicines that we have to chose from have changed considerably. Our relationship with patients, prescribers and the health service as a whole has become more complex.  

The HSE recognises that key staff require education and provides study allowances to medical staff detailed below. 



Educational Supports

Financial Supports

There are currently three schemes in operation which provide financial support to NCHDs and consultants funded by the NDTP.  The schemes are:

Training Support Scheme (TSS)

Additional Training Support Funding has been made available to NCHDs from July 2019 onwards. This scheme is in addition to existing financial supports such as the Clinical Course and Exam Refund Scheme and the Higher Specialist Training Fund. Funding is allocated based on Grade and the table below indicates the amount available under the TSS for each registration training year, July – July. Funding is available pro-rata for doctors employed on shorter contract durations.

Grade Amount per Registration Year
Intern €750
SHOs and Registrars €1250
SPRs/GP Registrars/Psychiatry SRs on a training scheme €2000

A list of approved clinical courses, conferences and examinations that can be claimed for under the TSS are listed here

Further information on how to submit claims for refunds under this Scheme will be communicated to NCHDs over the coming weeks. An Information Sheet / User Guide will also be made available on this page. In the meantime, please see link to flyer which contains additional details regarding the Training Supports Funding Scheme

1. Clinical Course & Examination Refund Scheme for NCHDs

This scheme is open to all NCHDs.  There is an approved list of clinical courses & examinations qualifying for this refund scheme contained in the guidance document. A maximum contribution of €450 is payable to NCHDs for each course or exam on this list. An application form must be completed to apply for this refund.

2. Specialist Training Fund for Higher Specialist Trainees

This scheme is open to higher specialist trainees and 3rd/4th year GP trainees only.  The funding available to each trainee is €500 per year of training and the fund rolls over if not claimed in a particular year. 

The Specialist Training Fund for Higher Specialist Trainees (2017) guidance document contains a detailed explanation of the Scheme should be completed and submitted to the your Postgraduate Medical Training Body to claim your refund.

3. Consultant CME

This Scheme is open to Consultants employed in the public service. It allows Consultants claim a maximum of €3,000 pa towards courses and conference, reference materials and professional fees. Further information is available in the memo claiming travel costs the guidance document and the application form should be completed in full and returned to the relevant employer for processing.


Within Hospital Pharmacy there is no formal agreement over the need for or provision of individual training budgets. As you can see it is quite feasible that hospital; pharmacists could be working as part of a multidisciplinary team where their up to date specialist knowledge is relied upon in order to get the best patient outcomes, however unlike their medical practitioner colleagues they are not in an equal position of having the support in terms of time or funding .

Hospital Pharmacists are motivated and keen to both keep up to date and upskill. The health system that we work in relies up on this but does not automatically provide support for it. 

It is not uncommon for Hospital Pharmacists throughout their careers to self or part fund education that does not directly financially benefit themselves, but increases their effectiveness and their value as an asset to the health service. 

As we are now looked upon as specialists in the area of medicines use should we expect parity on funding for education? Should our employers recognise that Hospital Pharmacists are an asset that require support and development to get their maximum potential?

Head over to the forum to discuss...


About the association

The Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland (HPAI) is a voluntary organisation that represents it members on issues relevant to hospital pharmacists.

Mission Statement

The Hospital Pharmacists Association of Ireland exists to:

  • further the development of hospital pharmacy practices.
  • assist in the provision of continuing pharmaceutical education.
  • represent the views of the hospital pharmacist on issues of relevance to hospital pharmacy.
  • advance the professional welfare of our members



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