What can pharmacy technicians do within primary care?
Roles of a pharmacy technician in a surgery or PCN setting might include:
- Working with GPs and patients to resolve day-to-day medication queries
- supporting person-centred care and shared decision making around medicines
- Structured medication reviews (SMR)
- Triaging and managing common ailments as well as supporting care navigation to the Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS)
- Managing and prescribing for long term conditions (often with practice nurses or other clinical staff)
- Helping deliver aspects of QOF and IIF (impact and investment fund)
- Multi-disciplinary case reviews, which may include work as part of the enhanced health in care home indicators
- Face-to-face or telephone consultations with patients
- Supporting with medication changes for patients recently discharged from hospital
- Quality improvement work and medical education
- Overseeing practice/PCN’s repeat prescription policy
- Many clinical pharmacists will support supervision and training of other staff and trainees as well
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Training and supervision
Pre-requisites – BTEC/NVQ 3 Pharmacy Services or equivalent in pharmaceutical sciences and registered with General Pharmaceutical Council GPhC) https://www.pharmacyregulation.org/
Training pathway and supervision – training in primary care for qualified pharmacy technicians is through the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE – Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education). Please see pcpep-brochure.pdf (cppe.ac.uk) for full details. This is an 18 month pathway including 28 dedicated study days. During this time the pharmacy technician will be supported by CPPE, however a clinical supervisor from the practice or PCN is required as well. The clinical supervisor will usually be a clinical pharmacist or senior pharmacy technician.
PCNs may also consider a Pre-Registration Pharmacy Technician (PTPT) as part of a cross sector apprenticeship. Approved apprenticeship pathways can be found on the GPhC Accredited Training Providers Approved courses and qualifications for pharmacy technicians | General Pharmaceutical Council (pharmacyregulation.org). This is a 2 year pathway including a minimum of 14 supervised working hours per week. During this time the PTPT will be supported by training provider tutor, however educational and clinical supervision from the employer and additional placement workplaces is required as well. Supervision will usually be a pharmacy technician or pharmacist.
Induction – ensuring pharmacy technicians are embedded and well supported in their role within your practice/PCN is vital. An induction program can provide a great way to start this process. New starters should experience the roles of the healthcare team and how these roles work together. Below is a sample induction plan template that can be tailored to suit. Please note the Gloucestershire Primary Care Training hub is offering a half day induction program to staff new to primary care, which runs bimonthly. Please contact the training hub for further information.
Peer support – peer support can be invaluable at all stages of your career, and in particular starting out within primary care. For those undertaking the CPPE pathway or PTPT Apprenticeship these will likely provide some peer support. We would encourage you to reach out to other pharmacy technicians in your PCN and the wider system to form a peer support group, if one doesn’t already exist. If you are struggling to establish a peer support group please contact the training hub for guidance. We have a Gloucestershire Pharmacy Technicians in General Practice Telegram Group. The ICB (Integrated Care Board) hold regular information and development sessions for PCN Clinical Pharmacy professionals.
Maximum Reimbursable Salary£27,055 (band 5-6) (To note this role can develop into an Lead Pharmacy Technician Role which is banded at 6 and the salary reimbursable then is up to £40,588) Correct at time of writing.
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