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Home  »   Latest NewsPDA Students   »   PDA student campaign is making an impact on NHS LSF exclusion issue

PDA student campaign is making an impact on NHS LSF exclusion issue

The PDA student campaign to secure fair financial support for MPharm students is gathering pace with multiple members of parliament now responding to the issue.

Thu 23rd November 2023 The PDA

A campaign led by PDA Student Representatives is gathering pace as more and more PDA members and other individuals are supporting the campaign. Members are writing to their MP using the PDA online campaigning tool to raise the unfair exclusion of pharmacy students from the scope of the NHS Learning Support Fund (LSF).

The NHS LSF is a supplementary fund for healthcare students studying in England* to, ‘support students in the study of elements of healthcare courses necessary in gaining professional registration and to help promote diversity in the workforce, and otherwise to help secure a continued workforce supply in future years.’

Thirteen allied healthcare professional courses are included in the scope of the NHS LSF, which includes a non-income assessed training grant of £5,000 per academic year, parental support, and travel and accommodation expenses. Yet despite the vital role of pharmacists in healthcare services across the NHS, pharmacy students do not receive the same funding as other allied healthcare professionals.

The PDA believes pharmacy students deserve to be supported whilst they train and gain professional registration in line with the support available for other future healthcare professionals.

PDA Student Reps are calling on all pharmacy students, trainees, and pharmacists in England to write to their MP and ask them to petition for pharmacy students to be included in the NHS LSF. Though many emails have already been sent, and various MPs are now informed of the issue, PDA Student Reps would like to encourage more PDA members to get involved and also support the campaign.

PDA Student Rep, Asa said, “Without appropriate LSF funding, the wider learning experiences of pharmacy students are greatly hindered. Excluding them from the funding seems inequitable and unbalanced. Pharmacists play a vital role in medicines management and patient care in NHS services.”

PDA Student Rep, Mahnoor said, “Pharmacy students deserve equal access to the NHS LSF, pharmacists are an integral to MDTs in healthcare. We urge pharmacy students to get involved and to contact their MP.”

Support MPharm students and advocate for pharmacy by joining the campaign

It’s part of an MP’s job to listen to the people who live in the area they represent, and it’s an easy and effective way to make your voice heard. The PDA has made it even easier by creating a ‘Write to your MP’ tool so you can quickly find your MP’s email address and use the PDA’s template email which raises the issue to your MP to save you some time.

Only have 5 minutes?

Those who only have a few minutes to support the campaign can use the quick ‘Write to your MP’ tool. The letter has already been written, all that is needed is to put in a postcode and enter some information like full name and email address. Click here to access the quick tool.


Do you have 10 minutes?

Those who have a bit more time can use the longer tool which includes a few more reasons why MPharm students should be included in the NHS LSF and a section to add personal reasons for supporting the campaign. Click here to access the long tool.


The PDA and PDA Student Reps would like to thank all who get involved in this campaign for their support. Please do share the responses you receive from your MP by emailing

*Students studying in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are not included in the NHS Learning Support Fund. PDA officials are ascertaining the situation in the devolved nations, and whether this campaign can be extended.

Learn more

Not yet a PDA member?

If you have not yet joined the PDA, we encourage you to join today and ask your colleagues to do the same.

Membership is FREE to pharmacy students, trainee pharmacists, and for the first three months of being newly qualified.


Read about our key member benefits here.






The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

The PDA Union is recognised by the Certification Officer as an independent trade union.

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