The multiple has spent “the last few years” investing in its pharmacy technician workforce, to enable pharmacists to deliver more patient-facing care, Marc Donovan said yesterday (September 4).
Speaking exclusively to C+D after his session at the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Congress in Glasgow, Mr Donovan said: “We have to release capacity in community pharmacy – one way of doing that is to utilise community pharmacy technicians better.
“We believe that operationally our pharmacies run better [with a pharmacy technician] and that actually there is evidence to suggest they are safer,” he said.
“Our pharmacists are then more able to deliver the care they want off the back of [this],” Mr Donovan explained. “So pharmacy technicians running the dispensary and pharmacists delivering care is where we need to be.”
Some “nervous” of greater role for technicians
Mr Donovan admitted that parts of the sector are “nervous” about “the role that pharmacy technicians could potentially do in the future and whether or not that would encroach on the traditional aspects and roles of community pharmacy”.
However, “for pharmacists to be able to demonstrate more value, they have to be enabled to do so – and pharmacy technicians will have a role in doing that”.
Committed to a pharmacist in every pharmacy
Mr Donovan stressed that Boots is still “absolutely committed that we should have a pharmacist in every one of our pharmacies”. “Our patients expect that and that is the right thing to do,” he said.
“We also see that there are plenty of opportunities where our pharmacists can work in different areas,” he added, citing GP surgeries, care homes, hospitals and prison as examples.
“To change community pharmacy as a profession, we have to focus on the vast majority of our pharmacists and provide more opportunities for them,” he said.
Mr Donovan used his FIP session to stress the importance of the sector “evolving quickly” to meet the challenges of the future.
“Enablers”, such as “technology and changes in contractual frameworks”, will help the sector evolve and survive, Mr Donovan told C+D, but “empowering the pharmacy workforce…is perhaps going to be the hardest challenge”.