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Prison Pharmacy Technician

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Role description

Prison pharmacy technicians working in the health and justice sector 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 prision 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 quality improvement initiatives.
  • 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.

Location of work

Prison pharmacy technicians work within a wide of employment locations including prisons, secure facilities, and immigration removal centres, where you could be involved in the preparation of medicines, 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 patients and pharmacy services.


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.


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.

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Further information

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