Depending where you work, you will be responsible for preparing, supplying and administering medicines, as well as liaising with patients, customers and other healthcare professionals to support safe and effective use of medicines.
What is a Pharmacy Technician?
Pharmacy Technicians play a huge and varied role in healthcare working in primary and secondary care as well as community pharmacy and more specialist areas such as prisons and industry. Within a GP practice, Pharmacy Technicians can apply their acquired skills and knowledge to perform audits, reconcile medications from hospital admissions, issue prescriptions and perform simple medication reviews with patients. Pharmacy Technicians are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) for their license to practice.
The role of a Pharmacy Technician is broad, and duties can vary depending on where you work. A Pharmacy Technician working in General Practice will have a positive effect on the management of medicines for both the patients and the practice. They can significantly reduce day-to-day workload for GPs. Pharmacy Technicians effectively support GPs and other clinicians with prescribing, following local and national guidelines, clinical reviews, safety alerts and medication queries. They empower patients to be more involved with their medication management, and ensure that they are taking the right medication, in the right way, and that they’re up to date with health reviews and important blood monitoring. They contribute to processes that help to maximise benefit and minimise risk to patients from their medicines and ensure the smooth transition between primary and secondary care.
Pharmacy Technician activities in general practice:
· Repeat Prescription management.
· Medicines Reconciliation
· Compliance reviews
· Counselling patients about their medication
· Medication switching
· Respond to Medicines & Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) safety alerts.
· Medication queries
· Drug monitoring
· Simple medication reviews
· Vaccination programmes
Click on the link below to find out more about the role:
How do you become a Pharmacy Technician?
To train as a Pharmacy Technician, you must be working in a pharmacy environment, under the supervision of a Pharmacist or Pharmacy Technician. You will complete a General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) approved programme of training over 2 years, whilst working in practice. There is an apprenticeship route into training as a Pharmacy Technician. Once qualified, you will register with the GPhC to practice as a Pharmacy Technician.
You will need at least 4/5 GCSE’s, grade 4 and above to be able to apply for a job as a Pre-registration Pharmacy Technician (PTPT) apprenticeship. Which must include Maths, English and Science.
You will learn on the job as well as studying the course which will cover subjects ranging from disease management and human physiology to Pharmacy law and ethics.
- Excellent communication Skills
- The ability to work well with others.
- Computer literacy
- Responsible, accurate, methodical, and good attention to detail.
- Problem solving
- An interest in helping people and improving people’s health.
- Able to maintain confidentiality and privacy.
Historically, Pharmacy Technicians have been trained in a community or Hospital pharmacy setting but we are now able to grow the workforce in Primary care by recruiting Pre-registration Pharmacy Technicians (PTPTs) into a cross sector programme, partnering up with the acute trusts or community pharmacies.
Over the last 3 years we have been fortunate to secure funding from Health Education England (HEE) to begin to train our own Pharmacy Technicians in GP practices. If you would like to increase your Pharmacy Technician numbers, we would love to hear from you. Please contact the Pharmacy Technician Ambassador: firstname.lastname@example.org
Example of a Pharmacy Technician career pathway:
Further resources for registered Pharmacy Technicians
All Pharmacy Technicians employed by a PCN under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) must be enrolled in, undertaking, or qualified from, an approved training pathway. For example, the Primary Care Pharmacy Educational Pathway (PCPEP) delivered by CPPE. The Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) runs for 15 months for Pharmacy Technicians and provides the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to work in various patient-facing roles in primary care networks as part of a multidisciplinary team.
Alternative course to PCPEP: https://pwds.nhs.uk/programme/gppt-motp/
Other useful websites for continued professional development:
Pharmacy Technician Coffee Break Conversations podcast: https://soundcloud.com/nhs_sps/sets/pharmacy-technician-coffee
Specialist Pharmacy Service forthcoming conferences and webinars covering a range of Medicines Optimisation issues - https://www.sps.nhs.uk/home/events/next-events/
Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA), established for the benefit of all primary care pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with an active interest in primary care pharmacy. It is the largest and longest standing independent organisation dedicated to supporting pharmacy professionals working within primary care: https://pcpa.org.uk/index.php
MORPh, Primary Care Training for Pharmacists, Pharmacy Technicians, Trainees and Pharmacy Teams: https://www.morphconsultancy.co.uk/
Prescqipp Practice Plus professional network developed to connect PCN and practice pharmacists and pharmacy technicians with each other and to the wider NHS: https://practiceplus.prescqipp.info/
General Pharmaceutical CPD records: https://www.mygphc.org/signin
Bluestream training: https://www.bluestreamacademy.com/
Elearning for health: https://portal.e-lfh.org.uk/
Health and wellbeing:
The NHS needs staff that are well to deliver effective, quality care for patients. Here are some resources for health and wellbeing support.
Further education opportunities
Buttercups level 4 Enhanced Practice Programme for Pharmacy Technicians: https://www.buttercupstraining.co.uk/course/level-4-enhanced-practice-programme-pharmacy-technicians
Bradford College Diploma in Clinical Pharmacy Services and Therapeutics: https://www.bradfordcollege.ac.uk/courses/level-4-btec-diploma-in-pharmacy-clinical-services-professional/
CPPE Leading for change, open to anyone who has responsibility for leading a team or leading services within their organisation and would like to develop their skills further: https://www.cppe.ac.uk/skills/leading
NHS Leadership Programmes, a variety of programmes depending on your level and experience: https://www.leadershipacademy.nhs.uk/programmes/
The Chief Pharmaceutical Officer's Pharmacy leaders development programme is for experienced pharmacists and pharmacy technicians who aspire to lead large and complex NHS departments, services, teams or systems of care to benefit patients and local communities: https://www.cppe.ac.uk/skills/pharmacy-leaders
Pharmacy Technicians in Derbyshire
Derbyshire GP Pharmacy Technician Support Group. Chat with other Pharmacy Technicians working in GP practices in the Derbyshire area. Please contact email@example.com for a invitation link to this Telegram group.
The Derbyshire region have been busy establishing a number of groups to work on projects to support the developing role of the Pharmacy Technician. Join the virtual workspace by emailing PharmacyWorkforceDerbyshirefirstname.lastname@example.org saying who you are, where you work and your job role.
NHS England Regional Pharmacy Team monthly Script newsletter: https://sway.office.com/jJF4FO5VbxtzOELq?ref=email