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Supporting pharmacy technician delivered medicines optimisation across healthcare sectors

The aim of the project is to review, adapt and add training programmes for pharmacy technicians


The project is to support pharmacy technicians delivering medicines optimisation across healthcare sectors through post-registration training, assessment and accreditation programmes run by South West Medicines Information and Training,University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust at Bristol.

The role of medicines optimisation services in reducing patient harm from medicines, improving therapeutic outcome and medicines effectiveness, reducing waste and improving the patient experience is well understood and endorsed through recent  NICE guidelines. 

Over the past 10-15 years, the role of the pharmacy technician in secondary care has expanded to support the better use of medicines by patients.  These patient facing roles require a higher level of technical and professional skill, knowledge and competency than developed by the initial training for registration.

The acute hospital providers in the south west have developed their pharmacy workforce using a training and accreditation programme specifically designed to meet their needs for a competent workforce and a system that provides assurance that staff have necessary skills, knowledge and competency. 

In more recent years there has been interest from non-acute providers in developing their pharmacy technicians to carry out these higher level medicines management tasks. 

General practice is now looking to pharmacy professionals to supplement its current workforce. 

This project will involve working with pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across a range of provider services (including acute, primary care, mental health, community services, care homes) to review, adapt and add to the current South West Medicines Information and Training (SWMIT) Medicines Management training programmes for pharmacy technicians.  It will also ensure that they reflect the emerging and changing scopes and methods of practice across all sectors. 

This will support in particular:

  • Medicine reconciliation
  • Medication safety through better monitoring
  • Medicines governance
  • Supporting adherence
  • Facilitating discharge

The project is aiming to be completed in May 2016.

For more information, please contact Trevor Beswick, Director of South West Medicines Information & Training at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol.

Anticipated benefits:

Building on existing programmes that have a proven track record of effectively training and assessing pharmacy technicians to take on extended roles in medicines management in the acute sector.  This is far more efficient than having to start from scratch to develop suitable training and assessment programmes for other sectors.

Organisations that take up these programmes will be able to make better use of skill-mix within their teams by having a pharmacy technician workforce able to carry out advanced roles. 

Enhancing and expanding the workforce that is available to be deployed on medicines optimisation has the potential for more economical, efficient and effective use of medicines broadly by:

  1. Improving treatment outcomes and reducing waste by increasing adherence
  2. Reducing the impact of patient harm from medicines related incidents

This Page was last updated on: 26 November 2015

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