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Strength in numbers

APTUK’s new president calls on pharmacy technicians across the UK to join forces and have their voices heard.

The new president and director of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) says she is “delighted and honoured” to have been appointed to the role and looks forward to working with APTUK members, stakeholders and partners to continue to strengthen representation of the profession

Claire Steele (pictured above) is head of Pharmacy Medicines Supply & Quality at NHS Fife and has been a pharmacy technician for 24 years. She has a wealth of senior leadership experience within her employed role and as APTUK’s national professional lead for Scotland. Claire is a strong advocate for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff, and says she is honoured to be the Professional Secretary of the National Pharmacy Technician Group Scotland.

In a statement outlining her plans for her new APTUK role, which she took up on 1 March, Claire thanked pharmacy technicians across the UK for their work during the pandemic. “The past two years have been exceptionally challenging for all pharmacy services,” she said. “To each of you, I offer my heartfelt thanks for your dedication to our communities. Because of what you have achieved and the hard work by the Association, the profi le of pharmacy technicians is greater than ever before. We need to capitalise on this and amplify our lobbying for legislative change to enable pharmacy technicians to practice independently and optimise the care and services we offer to our patients.”

Claire will drive APTUK's strategy over the next fi ve years and says she will advocate for pharmacy technicians to be represented “at the highest level”.

Explaining that all APTUK directors, as well as most of the executive committee, are volunteers with busy and often stressful day jobs, Claire says APTUK needs to grow its membership. “The more members we have, the greater our voice is and the stronger we become,” she says. “As a pharmacy technician, I want to be heard – as I am sure you do too. Please engage with our activity on social media, attend branch events and take opportunities to be involved in your Association.”

Claire takes over as president from Liz Fidler, who has written for TM and supported the magazine for several years, including as a judge for our Recognition of Excellence Awards. Liz has taken up a new role as senior professional advisor for pharmacy technician practice with NHS England and NHS Improvement.

The post of vice president of APTUK is currently vacant, following Ellen Williams’ decision not to stand for another term. APTUK is inviting nominations for this position, as well as for the post of social media executive. For more details, email operations@aptuk.org

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