This article originally appeared of the Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group website. It was published on 1st July 2021.
Marc Donovan, Chair of the Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group celebrates the successes of pharmacy technicians.
Today, the community pharmacy sector celebrates a milestone: it is 10 years since pharmacy technicians have been registered health care professionals.
On 1st July 2011 it became mandatory that all pharmacy technicians practicing in England, Scotland and Wales must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council. This protects patients and gives skilled health care professionals recognition. Over the last decade the pharmacy technician role has flourished, and we would like to see this development continue.
As anyone who works in the sector (or who has visited a pharmacy!) knows, pharmacy technicians are vital members of the community pharmacy team. They work on the frontline of health care, often as the first point of contact to deliver services and care directly to patients.
Time and again, pharmacy technicians have risen to the challenges of the pandemic. They have played a crucial role in the delivery of health care services and the roll out of the national vaccination programme.
As community pharmacy teams increasingly deliver clinical consultations and services to patients, the role of the pharmacy technician must adapt. We, as a sector, should consider opportunities for pharmacy technicians to take on additional tasks and develop as health care professionals.
Enabling pharmacy technicians to vaccinate patients through Patient Group Directions (PGDs) would, for example, increase the capacity of community pharmacy as a whole. Not only would this support patients and the wider community pharmacy sector, but it would make better use of the varied and valuable skills of pharmacy technicians.
As the sector develops, we must make the most of pharmacy technician colleagues and in doing so look to attract even more people to this rewarding career.
The Community Pharmacy Workforce Development Group has produced a factsheet to share information about what a career as a pharmacy technician involves.
For more information about pharmacy technicians please visit the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) website.