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Nicola Stockmann takes up ‘prestigious’ role as APTUK chief

Nicola Stockmann will lead the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK) from March 2024, replacing Claire Steele as president of the organisation.

Ms Stockmann has been appointed as the next president of APTUK, the professional association announced yesterday (December 13).

Ms Stockmann is currently APTUK’s vice president and was the sole nominee for the role. She will take over from incumbent Ms Steele in March for a two-year term, according to an APTUK spokesperson.

Read more: GPhC publicly apologises after ‘pharmacist technician’ gaffe

APTUK’s president serves as its “lead ambassador” and “key representative for the pharmacy technician profession”. Ms Stockmann will be responsible for APTUK’s “strategic professional leadership” alongside its board of directors and executive committee, the spokesperson said.

Ms Stockmann said that she was “honoured” to take up the “prestigious” position. 

She promised “consistency” during a “pivotal” time for pharmacy technicians, with looming “upcoming potential legislative changes”. 

Read more: UPDATED: DH launches long-awaited pharmacy supervision consultation

Ms Steele was described as a “champion” for pharmacy technicians. During her tenure, the association had experienced “significant growth”, “expanded [its] influence”, and “held the most successful conference to date”, the APTUK spokesperson said.

Ms Steele said that she was “delighted” to hand over the presidency to Ms Stockmann, who, she said, was “key” to APTUK’s recent successes, and who had been a “fantastic” stand-in in for Ms Steele while she was ill.

Nevertheless, Ms Steele said that she was sad to depart, and would “miss the camaraderie” of APTUK’s executive committee.

 

An evolving profession

 

The future looks rosy for pharmacy technicians, as their ranks swell and scope of responsibility looks set to expand.

Last week (December 7), the government released its long-awaited plans to change supervision rules in pharmacies, which proposed that pharmacy technicians could be authorised to perform certain tasks that would otherwise need to be performed by or under the supervision of pharmacists.

Read more: Supervision proposals: ‘The greatest pharmacy evolution in 70 years’

In August, the government launched a consultation on proposals for pharmacy technicians in the UK to be allowed to supply medicines under patient group directions (PGDs).

In June, the NHS long term workforce plan revealed that the health service planned for the number of pharmacy technicians to “grow in future years”. 

Read more: UPDATED: DH launches consultation for pharmacy technicians to use PGDs

NHS England (NHSE) demonstrated its commitment to this ambition in August, when it announced a fully funded training programme for pharmacy technicians to develop their “responsibility” in dispensing medicines and delivering clinical services.

And in April, changes to the law meant that pharmacy technicians were permitted to deliver blood pressure checks for hypertension case-finding and smoking cessation services.

Meanwhile, the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) last week (December 8) apologised after “mistakenly” referring to the title of pharmacy technician – which is protected by law – as “pharmacist technician” in a recent council paper. 

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