Scottish workforce receives an essential boost
The pharmacy technician workforce in Scotland has been given a boost in the shape of £3.4 million funding from the Scottish Government.
The National Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician scheme will recruit and train up to 150 pharmacy technicians in phase 1, with a review planned for phase 2. NHS Education for Scotland (NES), who developed the scheme, says it will help to address the growing need for "this important staff group" across all sectors, with a particular focus on supporting pharmacy in GP practices.
Pre-reg trainee pharmacy technicians will be able to undertake an SQA Diploma in Pharmacy Services at SCQF Level 7 over two years. The Technical Apprenticeship in Pharmacy Services, will also be "fully maximised", says NES.
NHS Boards are recruiting the first cohort of 50 trainees, due to start in April/early May, with recruitment of a further 100 trainees scheduled by September. Funding is also available to help those who already hold GPhC registration develop their skills.
Scotland’s chief pharmaceutical officer Professor Alison Strath called the news "a fantastic development". She added: "Pharmacy technicians are a crucial part of pharmacy services in the NHS and will increasingly contribute to core and developing pharmacy services."
Melanie Bryan, Chair of the National Pharmacy Technician Group Scotland, said: "This is great news! We are pleased to see the recognition and value of the pharmacy technician profession by Scottish Government. The creation of a national pharmacy technician pipeline is a massive step forward."