A Pharmacy Technician is a professional registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) and they play an integral part in helping patients to make the most of their medicines. (APTUK)
Pharmacy technicians undertake a two year training course in order to register at the end with the GPhC.
Pharmacy Technicians work under the guidance of a pharmacist although they are accountable for their own work as a registered professional. They can be involved in any part of the medicines supply from the adding of medicines onto repeat lists from discharge letters to the final checking of mediciations.
Pharmacy technicians are an integral and invaluable part of the practice/ PCN team. The technician role can be varied depending on the needs of the practice but roles identified locally have included:
- Looking at and actioning MHRA alerts
- Updating medication lists for patients following changes identified in discharge summaries
- Assisting the practice with aspects of the Medicines Optimisation Plan (MOP) or Prescribing Incentive Scheme (PIS)
- Identifying patients for medication review and do some of the review alongside the pharmacists
- Look at high cost and safety medication switches, particularly working with the Medicines Optimisation Teams (MOT)
- CQC audits
- Impact and Investment Fund (IIF work including greener inhaler switches
- Writing and distributing newsletters for the prescribers
- Eclipse alerts
- Answer queries from patients and any other member of the team
- Speaking to patients and calculating their cholesterol Q risk
- High risk drug monitoring
The role is ever-changing for pharmacy technicians so now is an exciting time to be part of this profession.
Testimonies from practice team members about their experience of having a technician in the team or being a technician in primary care:
Employing a Pharmacy Technician under the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS)
Pharmacy Technicians can be employed by the PCN under the Additional Roles and Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS).
Any Pharmacy Technician employed must be registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC). All registered pharmacy technicians and pharmacists can be found on the GPhC website. Professionals must complete CPD entries, peer reviews, and declarations of fitness to practice on a yearly basis in order to maintain their registration. Registration | General Pharmaceutical Council (pharmacyregulation.org) An individual must not call themselves a pharmacy technician (or pharmacist) if they are not registered with the GPhC; these are protected titles by law.
Pharmacy technicians employed under the ARRS scheme must undertake or have already undertaken the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway (PCPEP) or Medicines Optimisation in Care Homes Training Pathway for Pharmacy Professionals (MOCH) course or another approved course by the APTUK as meeting the requirements of the UK- wide APTUK/PCPA National Competency Framework for Primary Care Pharmacy Technicians. This information is specified in part B.2.1 C. of the Network Contract DES specification. Re-imbursement salaries and other information are found in the Network Contract DES Specification.
Employing a Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician (PTPT)
FUNDING FOR TRAINING A PTPT:
National or regional funding may be available to train the PTPT under the apprenticeship training pathway. Email the Training Hub for more information about the possible funding [email protected] To use the funding from NHSE, the PTPT must be enrolled on an apprenticeship pathway. If funding is not available, the course fees can still be paid using an apprenticeship levy. If you do not have access to a levy, please contact the Training Hub who may be able to help with a levy share from another organisation.
APPROVED COURSES FOR TRAINING:
The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) lists approved course providers for the PTPT training. Some training providers may have their qualification awarded by another approved provider so contact the Training Hub if you find any course providers which aren’t listed on the GPhC website.
PRE- REQUISITES FOR ENROLLING ONTO PHARMACY TECHNICIAN TRAINING PATHWAY:
Most course providers will require the learner to have GCSEs in maths and English but refer to the individual provider for their requirements. If the learner does not have the required GCSEs, there may be the option to undertake the maths and English functional skills with the provider.
The PTPT must have an educational supervisor for the duration of the two year pathway and access to a dispensary for dispensing and checking. The pathway may be single sector or cross sector. An example of cross sector is the main employer being the PCN but the learner goes out to a community pharmacy on cross sector placement for 12 weeks for each of the two years in order to complete the dispensing and checking modules.
For further information regarding Pharmacy Technician expansion workforce project, guidance for employers and system leads, pre-registration Pharmacy Technicians (PTPT) and cross-sector placements Pharmacy | Health Education England (hee.nhs.uk)
Resources and Training for Pharmacy Technicians
Suffolk and North East Essex (SNEE) Training Hub employs two pharmacy technician ambassadors and a pharmacist ambassador. Email [email protected] to make contact with your ambassadors. The ambassadors are happy to answer questions relating to pharmacy teams and are there to support and retain staff in primary care.
Suffolk and North East Essex (SNEE) Integrated Care Board (ICB) have Medicines Optimisation Teams in all three alliances. Register free with the SNEEICB website to access clinical guidelines, formularies, position statements, and more.
Upcoming training events can be found: Upcoming Events | Suffolk & North East Essex Training Hub (sneetraininghub.org.uk)
If there are specific courses/ training that you or your team require, feel free to contact the Training Hub.
Checklist for enrolling a Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician (PTPT)
Join Our Mailing List
Get the latest updates and news direct to your inbox.