Interprofessional education (IPE) has been recognised internationally as a way to improve healthcare professional interactions and team working in order to enhance patient care. Since pharmacists are increasingly part of multi-professional healthcare teams and are expanding their clinical roles, many pharmacy regulators have stipulated IPE must be included in educational curricula. This study aimed to examine how different Schools of Pharmacy (SOPs) in the UK implement IPE within their pharmacy course. Information about IPE was mainly obtained through interviews with staff from various SOPs. Nine telephone interviews were conducted which were analysed using a thematic analysis approach in order to derive common categories. These were identified as students, activities, barriers and facilitators and benefits of IPE. It was found that teaching methods used for IPE varied across SOPs. No standard strategy to deliver IPE was identified. Students were thought to value the IPE experience, especially the interaction with other professionals. The main barriers to implementing IPE arose from limited financial and organisational support. In general, many SOPs in the UK are undertaking IPE but challenges remain in establishing it as a routine part of the course, something which seems to echo difficulties in implementation of IPE both nationally and internationally.
Keywords: healthcare professionals; interprofessional education; interprofessional learning; pharmacy.