Matt Shield and Melissa Rose with the AULP award
In-house legal teams who are enabling two universities to address the shortage of pharmacists in South West England have been rewarded for their success.
Colleagues from the University of Plymouth and University of Bath won the Association of University Legal Practitioners’ inaugural Collaboration and Innovation Award at the AULP Annual Conference in Loughborough, last week (Thursday 20 June, 2024).
The award recognises their efforts in scoping and developing an agreement for Bath’s highly successful pharmacy programme to be delivered at Plymouth from September.

This has been an absolute team effort from everyone who worked on this exciting project.

I’m incredibly proud of our Plymouth’s legal team, but also grateful to colleagues across the University and at Bath for their support which is making this innovative collaboration possible.
Together, we will make a tremendously positive difference to the health and wellbeing of people in the South West and beyond.

Melissa Rose
Head of Legal and Compliance

The AULP is the association for in-house lawyers working in Higher Education.
Alan Briggs, legal advisor at the University of Bath, said: 
“We're delighted to receive this award alongside the team at Plymouth, reflecting the constructive and detailed work undertaken by multiple teams across both universities. This marks the start of the project and we look forward to continuing the collaboration with Plymouth to deliver a future pharmacy workforce for the South West.”
Bath and Plymouth’s partnership was formally launched earlier this year. Work to convert part of the University of Plymouth’s city centre campus for use by Bath staff and students is almost complete, thanks to support and funding provided by NHS England.

Studying pharmacy at Plymouth

From September, the highly ranked University of Bath MPharm (Hons) Pharmacy course will also be delivered at the University of Plymouth, significantly increasing the opportunities for students to study this subject in the region.
The partnership brings together the University of Bath's longstanding expertise in pharmacy education and research with the University of Plymouth's excellence in providing health and social care education.
It will be delivered in close collaboration with NHS England and many local stakeholders. This is an exciting time for the profession, as changes to pharmacy education will allow all pharmacists to prescribe on registration from 2026, increasing the diversity of roles within the career.
Pharmacists are listed on the national shortage occupations list, and there is a particular shortage in the South West, with the highest community pharmacy vacancy rate in England at 14% versus 8% nationally