I think its fair to say that the winter months have been challenging for those in the sector, but now is not the time to dwell on that. Spring is traditionally a season where we begin to get excited about what the rest of the year will bring as the sun begins to shine and bulbs start to make an appearance.
New beginnings and opportunities fit perfectly with the ethos of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) and its members. So it’s the ideal time to set the scene for how the role of community pharmacy technicians is beginning to evolve.
The role of pharmacy technicians in this sector is valued and my growing awareness of their contribution to patient care is enhanced daily.
A case in point was the recent news from Boots about pharmacy technicians on the Isle of Wight administering nasal flu vaccines to school children. Working with a pharmacist independent prescriber under a Patient Specific Direction, 4,250 vaccines were administered during a six-week trial period. It was inspiring to read a real example of utilising the knowledge and skills of the pharmacy technician workforce to optimise patient care and experience – it’s a fantastic case study for skill mix across the professions.
I am delighted to have invited Sharon, Hannah and Krupa – the three individuals behind this initiative – to present their valuable work at the APTUK conference in September. APTUK and I will be ensuring that our programme reflects the many diverse roles and sectors pharmacy technicians work in. The conference offers an amazing platform to support your revalidation through professional development opportunities, as well as helping you to grow networks and increase the voice from the community pharmacy sector. Find out more at: aptuk.org/annual-conference.
I am pleased to say that I have been privileged to contribute to national and local meetings discussing the skills and knowledge pharmacy technicians can provide. In particular, this includes the potential for providing medication reviews, supporting deprescribing and signposting to public health initiatives, as well as opportunities around antimicrobial stewardship.
Please do contact me if you have any case studies related to how community pharmacy technicians can support the NHS England Long Term Plan that could be shared with colleagues to aid policy decisions and education pathways.
I believe community pharmacy technicians should use the positive feelings associated with this time of year to showcase the fabulous work you do and encourage conversations on where you can improve services and health outcomes for patients. Don’t be shy, bloom!