Championing the role of pharmacy technicians

To mark Pharmacy Technician Day, we look at how McKesson UK is helping to champion the role of technicians and support trainees through their initial qualification.

Pharmacy Technician Day is all about celebrating the difference that technicians make to patients and their pharmacy team colleagues, day in and day out.

So, what is a pharmacy technician?

Pharmacy technicians are licensed, skilled and essential healthcare professionals who prepare, dispense, and supply medicines to patients. They play a key role across LloydsPharmacy and McKesson, so we spoke to four of our colleagues to find out what the profession means to them.

Steve Howard, our clinical standards director and superintendent pharmacist, began his career as a clinical pharmacist in hospitals and has always been an advocate of the role pharmacy technicians play within the wider pharmacy team. Steve commented:

“The role of pharmacy technicians is of ever-increasing in importance. They have always been central within hospital services due to supply and demand issues. However, their role is starting to be recognised more within community pharmacy. This is particularly important at a time when pharmacies are taking on a greater workload from overstretched GP surgeries. Technicians are key to freeing up more time for the pharmacist to spend with patients.”

Andrew Morris, head of AAH hospital services, is an honorary member of The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK). He says:

“Pharmacy technicians are fundamental to the success our business for several reasons. They have a deep insight into pharmacy operations and practices and have high levels of attention to detail and process. But most importantly they have an ability to think laterally and apply skills and knowledge to better support patients and improve healthcare. For us, as a business, that’s hugely powerful. There is a level of dedication and detail that is inherent within pharmacy technicians that is highly important but often left unrecognised or unnoticed”.

Yvonne Blackborow, our education and training technician originally trained as a pharmacy technician at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and worked at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital for nearly 19 years. Since then she has been working as a Pharmacy Assessor in further education colleges. She commented:

“I’ve been in this profession for over 25 years and I absolutely love it. As a technician there are so many things you can get involved in and I’m fortunate to have done some really exciting roles. This is such an exciting time for pharmacy technicians. All of the recent changes in the pharmacy industry mean that we can step up to support pharmacists even more and free up their time to interact with patients and deliver more services.”

Megan Aimes is training to become a technician through LloydsPharmacy. She told us how her training is going:

“So far, my journey on the technician course has been really interesting. It has been stretching my personal development and growth as a professional. This has been a very rewarding experience and I know along the way I will continue to gain more of the knowledge and transferable skills I need to be the best technician I can be. I’m passionate about being able to deliver truly patient-centred care. This for me is a priority.”