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Pharmacy Careers
NHS Health Education England

Prison Pharmacy Technician

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Role description

Prison pharmacy technicians play an important role in complementing prison clinical pharmacists, community pharmacists and other members of the multi-disciplinary team focussed on providing safe, cost-effective medicines for prison residents.

As a prison pharmacy technician, you have three broad areas of responsibility; clinical (medicines reconciliation, patient counselling and follow-up), technical (waste management and ordering) and training (prison staff, community pharmacy and the wider medical teams).

Key responsibilities

  • Providing safe, cost-effective clinical and technical pharmacy services to prison residents and discharged prisoners within care communities.
  • Proactively working as part of a multi-disciplinary team that includes community nursing teams, GPs, nurses, prison staff, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, non-medical prescribers, dietitians and support staff.
  • Accurately recording and reporting activity and outcome data as required to support the Medicines Optimisation and CCG QIPP programme.
  • Performing structured medicines reviews and education for residents, in line with current procedures and adjusting as necessary to improve health outcomes and improve efficiency.
  • Building relationships within the prison, GP care home leads, primary care network pharmacist and other technicians.
  • Providing prescribing support to nominated general practice(s) within the prison including advice regarding the transfer of care procedures for prison residents.
  • Providing education and training to colleagues including the safe and appropriate ordering, storage and administration of medicines within a prison environment.
  • Reviewing medicine ordering and wastage within the prison and providing advice to reduce wastage.
  • Document technical medicines queries from colleagues, residents, and members of the public about the prescribing and dispensing of medication to prevent safeguarding incidents with prison residents
  • Support the development of pathways and guidelines related to prisons.
  • Understand the Mental Capacity Act to aid decision-making for medicines administration within prisons.
  • Make and take responsibility for professional decisions whilst working within professional standards of conduct, ethics and performance.
  • Take responsibility for keeping up to date with professional responsibilities and CPD requirements including attending and completing CPPE training days in line with the CPPE 18-month schedule.


There are various pathways to becoming a Prison PharmacyTechnician including undertaking a college course (eg T level for Pharmacy Science Assistants), becoming an apprentice or becoming a trainee. You will need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths for a T level course or apprenticeship
  • For trainee pharmacist positions employers usually require 4 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including English, maths and science, Level 2 Diploma in Applied Science, or equivalent qualifications.

On-the-job training is conducted over 2 years leading towards the following qualifications as evidence of your knowledge and skills:

  • Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Pharmacy Service Skills
  • Level 3 Diploma in Pharmaceutical Science

Related case studies for this role

Davina Gadhia - Portfolio pharmacist

Meet Davina, a Portfolio pharmacist who tells us all about her different roles in NHS 111, Prison setting and Academia.

Read transcript

Further information

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