Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Minister Mary Harney Launches First National Pharmacy Internship Programme at RCSI

13 October 2009

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, today launched a new National Pharmacy Internship Programme at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI). Delivered by the School of Pharmacy at RCSI, the new programme which will introduce a Masters in Pharmacy (M Pharm), will be the first of its kind in Ireland.  The M Pharm programme will be awarded by the National University of Ireland and accredited by the PSI (Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland), the pharmacy regulator.

Pictured are interns from left Diarmuid Semple, Derry; Linda Fitzharris, Lucan ;Ben Ryan, Lucan ; Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney TD ; and Laoise Wallace, Cork.

The Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney TD, who launched the new Programme today, welcomed the cooperation between the various stakeholders in bringing this important development to this stage.

Pictured are from left Dr Terry McWade, Deputy CEO, RCSI; Professor John Kelly, Head of School of Pharmacy, RCSI; Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney TD ;Dr Ambrose McLoughlin, Registrar/CEO, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland; and Ms Noleen Harvey, President, Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland

Dr Terry McWade, Deputy Registrar of the RCSI, said: “RCSI has traditionally been a leader in post-graduate healthcare education in other professions and it is now our pleasure to extend this expertise to the profession of pharmacy as an important provider of healthcare in the State. Delivery of the programme has been enabled by our expertise in the use and development of e-learning delivered though customised electronic platforms, which is a new and important model for the delivery of post-graduate pharmacy education. Professional development requires lifelong learning. For our interns this is the beginning of a new and exciting journey from which they will emerge to make significant contributions to the delivery of our healthcare system.”

Pictured is Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney TD

Ms Noeleen Harvey, President of the PSI, described the new National Pharmacy Internship Programme that offers the Masters as a milestone development for the profession that brings Irish pharmacy in line with international best practice. “The PSI is aware that Ireland is the last remaining EU Member State that does not award a Masters level pharmacist qualification and is one of a small minority of Member States in which an integrated five-year training programme is not delivered. This new Programme will ensure formal recognition of the learning outcomes achieved in the fifth pharmacy education and training year and a higher degree of M Pharm for new graduates for the first time. This mentoring role is also important for ensuring the professional development of these young pharmacists of the future and enabling them to become competent professionals, with all the skills necessary to contribute to patient care and safety and be valuable members of the healthcare team.”

Pictured are interns from left Linda Fitzharris, Lucan ;Diarmuid Semple, Derry; Minister for Health and Children , Mary Harney TD ;Ben Ryan, Lucan ; and Laoise Wallace.

The National Pharmacy Internship Programme will be provided for the next three academic years by the RCSI, with the assistance of the Schools of Pharmacy at Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork. Each intern will undertake a placement which will include the mandatory six-month clinical requirement under the supervision of a tutor pharmacist in either a hospital or community pharmacy.