Pharmacy Technicians and Support Staff

Welcome to the HEE London and South East pharmacy technician and pharmacy support staff information page.

Pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff are key members of the pharmacy and wider multidisciplinary team. They liaise and work alongside other healthcare professionals across a wide range of settings to support the supply and safe and effective use of medicines.

If you are interested in becoming a pharmacy technician, use the Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians tab to find further information on becoming a trainee and discover how we support placements.

We also offers a range of development opportunities for qualified pharmacy technicians and pharmacy support staff. Use the additional tabs to discover further educational and training options.

Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician

Pre-Registration Trainee Pharmacy Technicians (PTPTs) are trained within the workplace and complete a 2-year vocational training programme. Training consists of a knowledge programme completed alongside two years consecutive work-based experience under the direction of a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.

Where training is delivered via an apprenticeship funding route, trainees must fulfil all the relevant requirements of the apprenticeship standard and pass the End Point Assessment (EPA).

The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) is the independent regulator for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and pharmacy premises in Great Britain. Upon successful completion of a GPhC approved course/qualification, individuals must register with the GPhC to practice as a pharmacy technician.

Further details on the registration process can be found on the GPhC Website.

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Entry Requirements

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.

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Funding

Health Education England (HEE) London and South East (LaSE) pharmacy does not employ PTPTs or offer trainee bursaries, however, we do provide a financial training contribution to the employer. It is the responsibility of HEE to ensure the quality of work-based training for these learners, to ensure providers and the curriculum are fit for purpose and a safe and supportive learning environment is provided.

Education costs are paid via the apprenticeship funding route and applicants for PTPT positions must meet the apprenticeship requirements.

Further information regarding apprenticeship can be found on the HASO website.

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Training Placements

Most employers offering a PTPT apprenticeship advertise on NHS Jobs. Apprenticeship providers can also signpost you to employers that are recruiting apprentices.

Once you have accepted a position with one of our employers, your education lead within the department will provide you with a robust induction and they should be your first point of contact. As your learning will be split between college and the workplace, you will be provided with an educational plan that details your learning linked to your college and assessment work.

The two-year programme is demanding and may seem fast paced at times but is extremely rewarding. To ensure you are adequately supported, we have processes in place to support you. To progress from year 1 to year 2 of the programme, trainees must pass all year 1 assignments and work-based activities.

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Quality

We have a key role in ensuring trainees are in safe learning environments. The NHS is busy and the role of a trainee that learns on the job is essential, however the balance needs to be right, and you should be supported through your education programme. HEE will not stipulate how much time your trust should allocate to individual study, this should be discussed and agreed with your Educational Supervisor (ES). Remember that you are continually learning and will have direct access to a whole range of healthcare staff that can support your development. Ask questions and get involved.

To improve and drive-up quality we have a variety of ways to gather feedback from our trainees including yearly surveys and ensuring the trainees voices are heard in local educational meetings. Speak to your Educational Supervisor if you are interested in being involved in the trainee representative role.

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Professional Leadership Body

The Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) is the professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians and works on behalf of pharmacy technicians securing and advocating the pharmacy technician profession and advancing the professions education and scope of practice.

APTUK offers free membership to PTPTs whilst they are completing their 2-year training programme visit their website for further information of what APTUK has to offer.

Medicines Optimisation Programme

The Medicines Optimisation Programme aims to develop pharmacy assistants and registered pharmacy technicians to work competently within local services and have a positive impact on patient care and safety.

The intention of this programme is not to standardise the detail of individual training as we recognise that delivery in individual work bases is diverse. It does not attempt to prescribe one single model for the delivery of medicines optimisation neither does it aim to include clinical knowledge.

The MOP has been developed to enhance skills and knowledge delivered in the workplace and focuses on the assessment of skills required to provide medicines optimisation through POD Assessments and/or Medicines Reconciliation.

MOP

Although clinical knowledge is not covered within the e-learning, it may be included in training delivered locally to support individual organisations.
The programme consists of two courses; Patients Own Drug (POD) Assessment and Medicines Reconciliation (MR).

The course a candidate undertakes will be determined by their job role and may be undertaken together or individually in any order.

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Cohort Dates

The course will be free for candidates and open to all who meet the entry criteria and work in an NHS trusts within London, Kent, Surrey or Sussex. Application is via our on-line form accessed by the link at the top of this page.

Courses will begin every two months and applicants should apply by the deadlines stated. If an applicant misses the deadline even by one day they will not be enrolled until the following cohort start date.
The name of your Educational Supervisor (ES) must be included within the application form.

2021-22 Dates

Cohort

Course Start Dates

Deadline to apply

Cohort 29

1st December 2021

19th November 2021

Cohort 30

1st February 2022

14th January2022

Cohort 31

1st April 2022

18th March 2022

Cohort 32

1st June 2022

13th May 2022

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Training

Training is employer led within the workplace, supported by e-learning developed by us.

The maximum amount of time a candidate has to complete is 12 months from the course start date. There is no minimum time requirement.

Training includes:

in-house training and e-learning

work-based shadowing and observations of professional practice

appraisal and self-reflection

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Assessment

Assessment of competence will be through work-based activities and include:

witnessed tasks/observations and competency logs

summative appraisal and sign-off by an Educational Supervisor (ES)

Objective Structure Clinical Examination (OSCE) – MR course only

Formative and summative competency assessment will be carried out in the workplace by the employer with on-line knowledge assessment and an OSCE for those undertaking Medicines Reconciliation delivered by us.

It is at the employer’s discretion when a member of staff meets local standards to deliver a service and meet their job description.

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OSCEs (for MR course only)

Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) Assessment

The OSCE assessment includes four stations used as an objective assessment of competence in Medicines Reconciliation. We will organise these assessments and run them four times a year. Please note, if the minimum quorate is not met for an OSCE assessment it will be cancelled and candidates will be deferred to the following assessment.

To be eligible to sit the OSCE assessment candidates must have had their ‘sign-off meeting’ with their ES and uploaded all the associated documents on to the Moodle e-learning platform.

Candidates registered for the Medicine Reconciliation course must complete the OSCE assessment within 12 months of the course start date. Candidates will be permitted to attempt the OSCE assessment twice

OSCE Assessment Dates

OSCE Assessment

Deadline to apply

26th January 2022

15th December 2021

10th May 2022

29th March 2022

28th September 2022

17th August 2022

Please note places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis and applications will close once the OSCE is full.

OSCE Support Session

To support candidates with the summative OSCE it is a course requirement that candidates attend an OSCE support session. The purpose of the OSCE Support Session is to practice medicines reconciliation within a protected environment and to debate and discuss practical challenges and issues that can arise while working within medicines optimisation – Medicines Reconciliation. This session may be attended at any stage during the course.

The OCSE Support Session will be delivered locally, in the workplace by the Educational Supervisor (ES) or a person deemed suitable by the ES. HEE LaSE provide the ES with standardised training materials and resources to facilitate the OSCE Support Session.

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Workplace Educational Support

The role of the Educational Supervisor (ES) is to ensure that candidates undertaking the course have the appropriate training utilising in-house materials. The ES is responsible for supporting the candidate through the course.

There is no formal training to be an ES for this course, the course handbook provides all the details to build on materials and infrastructure already in place.

An ES can be anyone who carries out the final sign-off of candidates and must be competent and have the responsibility to do so. Please note that each time a candidate applies, the ES will also receive a copy of the course handbook.

Registration as an Educational Supervisor does not normally need to be reviewed. However, if concerns are identified through sampling a candidate’s evidence of competence, registration will be reviewed and further training may be required.

An ES must have the following requirements:

The role must be included in their job description and they have the capacity to carry out the role effectively and in a timely manner

They must have the autonomy to deal with issues and concerns

They must have previous experience of POD Assessment and Transcribing for Supply and current knowledge and understanding of the role

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POD Assessment Course

This course has been designed and mapped against the Skills for Health National Occupational Standards PHARM31.2016 Confirmed the suitability of an individual's medicines for use and ensure sufficient supply and PHARM33.2016 Order medicines and products for individuals.
This course consists of two modules: POD assessment or POD assessment and Transcribing for Supply. Which module a candidate undertakes will be determined by their job role.

Target Audience

We will accept applications from pharmacy assistants or pharmacy technicians undertaking this role within an NHS trust across London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Application must be approved and supported by the Trust.

It is the employer’s responsibility that the role is covered by vicarious liability. It is strongly recommended that employers and candidates ensure that they will be able to undertake the activities to the level expected before applying.

Entry Criteria

The need for this course must be identified through service need supported by personal development plans, have practice base support and a Learning Agreement signed by all parties – the Candidate, the ES and the Line Manager/Chief Pharmacist.

Applicants must have undergone a full induction to the clinical ward environment.

Applicants must be practising in a department which has agreed local standard operating procedures. These must be in place and up to date. Applicants must take personal responsibility to ensure that they are up to date with local policies and procedures and are always working to them.

Applicants must be assigned an Educational Supervisor and confirm who this is on the on-line application form.

Applicants have a clearly defined scope of practice in relation to their medicines optimisation role.

Leaning Outcomes

Module 1. Patient's Own Drugs (POD) Assessment

Communicate effectively within the medicines optimisation role – POD Assessment role

Obtain patient consent and take appropriate action if consent is not given

Maintain patient confidentiality

Confirm the suitability of an individual’s medicines for use

Identify discrepancies in medicines against prescribed items and deal with any problems appropriately

Identify risks and deal with any problems

Module 2. Patient's Own Drugs (POD) Assessment and Transcribing For supply

Communicate effectively within the medicines optimisation – POD Assessments and Transcribing for Supply role

Obtain patient consent and take appropriate action if consent is not given

Maintain patient confidentiality

Confirm the suitability of an individual’s medicines for use

Identify discrepancies in medicines against prescribed items and deal with any problems appropriately

Review an individual’s medication record and assess the individual’s current supply

Transcribe a medication order with instructions for labelling so that the medicines can be dispensed for the individual

Identify risks and deal with any problems

Both modules will support the development of underpinning skills, specifically

Communication

Interpersonal skills

Time management

Problem solving

Provision of relevant medicines related information

Accurate transcription record keeping

Awareness of own limitations and scope of role

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Medicines Reconciliation

Medicines reconciliation (MR) is the process of accurately identifying and listing a person’s medicines and comparing or reconciling it against other external sources. This could be when they're admitted into a service or when their treatment changes.

This course has been designed and mapped against the Skills for Health National Occupational Standards PHARM29.2016 Retrieve and reconcile information about an individual’s medicines and PHARM33.2016 Order medicines and products for individuals.

This course consists of two modules: POD assessment or POD assessment and Transcribing for Supply. Which module a candidate undertakes will be determined by their job role.

Target Audience

We will accept applications from registered pharmacy technicians undertaking this role within an NHS trust across London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex. Applications must be approved and supported by the Trust.

It is the employer’s responsibility that the role is covered by vicarious liability. It is strongly recommended that employers and candidates ensure that they will be able to undertake the activities to the level expected before applying.

Entry Criteria

The need for this course must be identified through service need supported by personal development plans, have practice base support and a Learning Agreement signed by all parties – the Candidate, the ES and the Line Manager/Chief Pharmacist.

Applicants must have undergone a full induction to the clinical ward environment.

Applicants must be practising in a department which has agreed local standard operating procedures. These must be in place and up to date. Applicants must take personal responsibility to ensure that they are up to date with local policies and procedures and are always working to them.

Applicants must be assigned an Educational Supervisor and confirm who this is on the on-line application form.

Applicants have a clearly defined scope of practice in relation to their medicines optimisation role.

Leaning Outcomes

Module 1. Medication Reconciliation

Communicate effectively within the medicines optimisation role – Medicines Reconciliation

Obtain patient consent and take appropriate action if consent is not given

Maintain patient confidentiality

Accurately complete, verify and record medication histories

Reconcile the verified medication history with the most recent prescription available

Practice a structured consultative approach to medicines and device counselling

Demonstrate the ability to build discussions about medicines-taking into practice

Discuss new developments that support transfer of care

Identify discrepancies in medicines against prescribed items and deal with any problems appropriately

Identify risks and deal with any problems

Module 2. Patient's Own Drugs (POD) Assessment and Transcribing For supply

Communicate effectively within the medicines optimisation – Medicines Reconciliation

Obtain patient consent and take appropriate action if consent is not given

Maintain patient confidentiality

Accurately complete, verify and record medication histories

Reconcile the verified medication history with the most recent prescription available

Practice a structured consultative approach to medicines and device counselling

Demonstrate the ability to build discussions about medicines-taking into practice

Discuss new developments that support transfer of care

Identify discrepancies in medicines against prescribed items and deal with any problems appropriately

Identify risks and deal with any problems

Review an individual’s medication record and assess the individual’s current supply

Transcribe a medication order with instructions for labelling so that the medicines can be dispensed for the individual

Both modules will support the development of underpinning skills, specifically

Communication

Interpersonal skills

Time management

Problem solving

Provision of relevant medicines related information

Accurate transcription record keeping

Awareness of own limitations and scope of role

Identify the information needs of specific patients around medicines and their use

Describe the rationale for providing a medicines reconciliation service

Complete a detailed medicines reconciliation using the relevant documentation

Demonstrate effective communication with patients, colleagues and health care professionals in a clinical environment

Professionally document their contributions to patient care

Accuracy Checking

Accuracy Checking Pharmacy Technician (ACPT) Programme

Health Education England (HEE) London and South East (LaSE) pharmacy commission The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) to deliver ACPT training for NHS Hospitals and HMP Prisons across London and Kent, Surrey and Sussex.

HEE LaSE will fund one full attempt for eligible registered pharmacy technicians. If an additional attempt is required this will be funded by the employer.

The ACPT programme offers a blended approach to learning that includes resources for self-directed study, e-learning and practice-based activities. It is flexible so that it meets the needs of stakeholders. For further details please visit the CPPE website

ACPT 1

Pre and In-process Checking

The PIPC course is delivered by University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust

The Pre and In Process Checking course is designed to support checking in all areas of Technical Services. It is aimed at Pharmacy Technicians and Senior Pharmacy Support workers with relevant experience in Aseptics. The course is delivered by University Hospital Southampton (UHS) and will take up to 12 months to complete.

The course comprises the following:

Date

Activity

Study Time

Method

13th December 2021

Commence pre-course work

Approx. 7.5 hours

Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)

3rd February 2022

Live virtual study day

Full day

Virtually from Base Hospital via MS Teams (learners will need access to a pc or laptop with headset or speakers and mic) VLE at Base Hospital

Following assessment results

Portfolio building

1 year

Base hospital

Course Delivery

To support trusts to continue to develop their aseptic workforce whilst dealing with resurge phases of COVID-19 and wider impacts of the pandemic, the face to face delivery of this course including the accuracy checking assessment will be delivered virtually via MS Teams and the UHS virtual learning environment.

The Educational Supervisor (ES) or a delegated registered pharmacy professional will be required to invigilate the assessment under exam conditions which will take place at your base hospital on the stated assessment date. Your ES will be sent assessment guidance with details of the assessment prior to the assessment date and paperwork should be submitted as per the assessment guidance.

How to apply

For further information about the course and to apply, please contact the course facilitator Joanne Palmer, Lead Pharmacy Technician, Training (Aseptics and NVQ2), University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.
Email: PharmacyTrainingTeam@uhs.nhs.uk
Telephone: 023 81 20 8726

Closing date for applications 4th January 2022

CPD Support for registered pharmacy professionals

The Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE) is funded by Health Education England (HEE) to provide CPD opportunities for pharmacy professionals providing NHS services in England. CPPE offer a range of learning opportunities to help your development at all stages of your career and in all sectors of practice.

CPPE have introduced learning pathways to their website to support you in your journey as a pharmacy professional. You can access the pathways, learning resources and book on to workshops by visiting the website: www.cppe.ac.uk

In collaboration with HEE, CPPE have developed the Consultation skills for pharmacy practice six-step learning development pathway, to support you to work towards the Consultation skills for pharmacy practice standards and deliver a patient-centred approach. These resources can be accessed via www.consultationskillsforpharmacy.com

Dental Factsheets for Healthcare Practitioners

Dental symptoms are one of the most common symptom groups for callers to NHS 111, particularly at weekends. Many patients visiting emergency departments could be managed by other services including community pharmacies.
The HEE Dental and Pharmacy teams across LaSE have therefore collaborated to produce a series of dental factsheets for community pharmacy. The factsheets are intended to support and refresh knowledge and be used as a learning aid by all patient-facing staff in pharmacy when dealing with common dental presentations, helping community pharmacy teams to manage urgent dental and oral symptoms and to signpost patients to other services where indicated.