NHSE&I appoints first-ever pharmacy technician advisor to CPhO team
NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) has appointed its first-ever pharmacy technician to the chief pharmaceutical officer’s team, it has been announced.
Liz Fidler, currently president at the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK), will join the team in March 2022 in the newly created role of senior professional advisor in pharmacy technician practice.
Keith Ridge, NHSE&I outgoing chief pharmaceutical officer who made the announcement on Twitter this week (December 15), said the move “signalled a new era for the profession” and is indicative of “the step-change needed to build on and fully realise the benefits of the pharmacy technician clinical role for patients across the NHS system”.
In her new role, Ms Fidler will “provide leadership and professional advice” for the pharmacy technician profession in England, Dr Ridge added.
Working across national health organisations and programmes “to provide advice and support for the development of a strong evidence base”, Ms Fidler will also “further enable policy and strategy which reflects the potential of the pharmacy technician profession in supporting the aspirations of the NHS long-term plan”, he said.
“Truly honoured” to take up role
The move comes after Ms Fidler announced last week that she had made the “difficult decision” to step down as president of APTUK in February 2022, after three years in the role.
Following Dr Ridge’s announcement, Ms Fidler tweeted that she was “truly honoured to have the opportunity to provide advice to NHSE&I on the roles [the] pharmacy technician profession can deliver for patients and communities”.
On Monday, APTUK and the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA) published an open letter to the health secretary Sajid Javid, urging the government to “accelerate plans” to add pharmacy technicians to the list of healthcare professionals able to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under a patient group direction (PGD).
Earlier this month, in response to a tweet calling for the legislation to be changed to allow pharmacy technicians to work under a PGD, pharmacy minister Maria Caulfield confirmed “we are looking at this”.