‘Pivotal moment’: Pharmacy technicians set to deliver more clinical services


The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee (PSNC) said negotiations for years 4 and 5 of the pharmacy contract raised the possibility for “a larger role for pharmacy technicians in the delivery of key services.”

In “agreement” with the Department for Health and Social Care (DH) and NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I), the performance specifications for the national high blood pressure case finding and smoking cessation services will be “amended to allow delivery by pharmacy technicians”. , the two entities and PSNC wrote yesterday (September 22) in a letter to the contractors.

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Alastair Buxton, PSNC director of NHS services, told C+D that while it would be “simple” to update the performance specifications for the high blood pressure case finding and smoking cessation services, the secondary legislation also needed to change.

The DH has committed to launching a public consultation asking whether pharmacy technicians can use Patient Group Instructions (PGDs) and another consultation “to enable community pharmacies to better utilize the available skill mix in pharmacies”.

Strengthening the role of the pharmacy technician

Allowing pharmaceutical technicians to assist with more clinical services will be “critical to address the very severe capacity constraints facing the sector,” PSNC wrote in a briefing.

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In the future, pharmacy technicians could also help with “elements” of the newly announced contraceptive service and other services “in due course”, Mr Buxton told C+D.

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“We’ve already built in the ability for technicians to deploy some of the elements of the Discharge Medicine Service, [so] There’s probably also an argument to explore whether or not pharmacy technicians could take over elements of the new medical service,” added Mr Buxton.

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However, he predicts that pharmacy technicians will not be able to begin providing the hypertension case finding and smoking cessation services until the end of 2021.

“Important and exciting moment”

Liz Fidler, senior professional advisor to the NHSE&I practice for pharmacy technicians, hailed the proposed changes as a “defining and exciting moment”.

The legislative changes will allow pharmacy technicians “to use their knowledge and skills to support the expansion of clinical services and provide effective healthcare to the communities they serve,” Ms. Fidler added.



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