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Boots to convert all dispensers to patient-facing role

"Pharmacy advisors" will increase face-to-face care by working across the dispensary and the counter, says Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan

Boots will convert its dispensing assistants to a new role so they can spend more time with patients, it has announced.

Every dispensing assistant will transition to the newly created "pharmacy advisor" position "over time", allowing them to “work across both the dispensary and healthcare counter”, the health and beauty giant said yesterday (November 16). 

These individuals will use their "expertise and knowledge gained as a dispenser" to spend more time "getting to know patients and addressing their individual needs”, Boots said.

The advisors will have a Level 2 NVQ qualification in pharmacy services skills or equivalent, as well as a medicines counter assistant qualification, Boots said. It will also create trainee pharmacy advisor roles for candidates interested in gaining the necessary qualifications, it said.

The starting salary for a pharmacy advisor will be £15,500 per year, Boots UK chief pharmacist Marc Donovan told C+D today (November 17).

Recruiting Boots apprentices

In March, Boots committed to creating 350 apprenticeships. Each of these 16-18-year-olds will become a pharmacy advisor once they complete their apprenticeship, it told C+D.

The first cohort of 82 apprentices joined the multiple in September, with the second intake scheduled for next year, Boots said.

To support pharmacists and pharmacy advisors to spend more time with patients, Boots has also revised its pharmacy technician development programme to allow technicians to “play a greater role in running dispensaries”.

Mr  Donovan said supporting more employees to deliver face-to-face patient care is “vital to achieving our ambition for pharmacy to play a greater role in offering services”.

“We are investing in our people, and ensuring that more of our pharmacy teams have the skills they need to support pharmacists,” he added.

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