GP practice technicians work within a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, based within a GP practice, and support the delivery of safe, effective and efficient systems for medicines optimisation, repeat prescribing, reducing medicine waste and maximising patient outcomes.
GP practice pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist and are registered healthcare professionals that are responsible and accountable for their own accurate and safe practice. As a GP practice pharmacy technician, you will receive ongoing training and development about all aspects of practice based prescribing and effective administration and will support the practice in providing medication reviews and achieving Quality and Outcomes Framework targets.
- Contributing to the provision of safe and effective pharmacy services.
- Undertaking medicines reconciliation in line with practice protocols and standard operating procedures to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of prescriptions and repeat prescriptions.
- Responding to patients’ questions both face to face and over the phone; referring problems or queries to the pharmacist.
- Participating in patient reviews and updating of patient records via clinics in the practice, domiciliary visits and in nursing and residential care homes.
- Checking the accuracy of medicines for prescriptions.
- Participating in medication audits.
- Providing advice and information to GPs, staff and patients to support the improvement of prescribing safety, quality, cost-effectiveness and the appropriate use of medicines to get the best outcomes for patients.
- Assisting in the monitoring and management of prescribing budgets and the preparation of evidence-based resources and information that support cost-effective prescribing.
- Taking responsibility for contributing to all aspects of the day-to-day management of the working environment including communication, data accuracy and management, keeping practice areas tidy and helping to achieve a supportive, positive culture across the practice team.
- To support and promote a safe working environment in accordance with Health & Safety and Infection Control policies.
- To respect and protect patient confidentiality and information.
- Keeping up to date with professional responsibilities and CPD requirements.
- Supervising and training other pharmacy staff such as pre-registration pharmacy technicians.
Location of work
GP Practice pharmacy technicians are usually based in either one practice or across various in their primary care network. You could be involved in, taking medication histories from patients, reviewing medicines, providing advice to patients about how to make the most of their medicines and giving advice on different treatment options. Your role will support the relationships between secondary care, community pharmacy, patients and other pharmacy services.
Many pharmacy technicians work in primary care roles in general practice and care homes. These roles involve reviewing and recording the medication the patients should be taking, ensuring sufficient supplies, administering medicines, and counselling patients to support their understanding on how to use their medicines safely.
The entry requirements will vary depending on the course provider. However, as a guide, you might be expected to have the equivalent of four GCSEs at Grade C and above, including mathematics, English language, science and one other subject. You will also need to be working in a pharmacy under the supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
To practise as a pharmacy technician in England, you'll need to complete an accredited course and register with the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC).
GPhC-approved courses/qualifications are also available through a level 3 pharmacy technician apprenticeship. To apply, you'll need to be employed and working in a pharmacy to meet the required minimum number of experience hours working within the pharmacy environment, under the direct supervision of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
Employers, including the NHS, offer jobs for trainee pharmacy technicians.
Pharmacy technicians must be able to communicate effectively with the wider healthcare team, patients and the public, whilst ensuring and maintaining confidentiality and privacy.
In addition, as a pharmacy technician you need to be:
- Responsible, accurate and methodical
- Able to pay close attention to detail
- Ready to refer to the pharmacist when necessary
- Able to understand law and guidelines on medicines
- Able to read and follow instructions
- Interested in people’s health
- Able to explain clearly to members of the public
- Able to demonstrate excellent customer service skills
- Able to demonstrate excellent organisational, science and manual dexterity skills
In order to work in some specialist areas, you may be required to undertake additional post-registration training / qualifications.