Mr Ridge thanked pharmacy technicians for “their incredible contribution to and support for excellent patient care throughout the COVID-19 pandemic so far” in a letter addressed to Liz Fidler, president of the Association of Pharmacy Technicians UK (APTUK).
“I have been impressed by the many examples of leadership, delivery and sheer fortitude that have been shown by pharmacy technician colleagues across all parts of the NHS and these are deserving of great praise,” the letter, published today (October 20), said.
In the letter, Mr Ridge also highlighted the “great future ahead” for the profession, which is “critical to the functioning” of pharmacies and to NHS medicines optimisation, he said.
Ms Fidler told C+D today: “Receiving this letter on World Pharmacy Technician Day demonstrates the recognition by Mr Ridge of the role pharmacy technicians have in contributing to better patient care health outcomes and pharmacy services”.
Developments for the profession
Mr Ridge said that, together with APTUK, several initiatives have been developed that bolster the role of pharmacy technicians.
These include the decision to add the profession to the list of roles that primary care networks (PCNs) receive reimbursement for, making PCNs “able to recruit pharmacy technicians into general practices, meaning there will be hundreds more in post in the next four years”.
Pharmacy technicians have also been added to the Primary Care Pharmacy Education Pathway, a programme delivered by the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education and providing training to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians working for PCNs.
Work needs to go further, with the support of APTUK, to ensure more pharmacy technicians are recruited, to “maximise the potential of the clinical role of pharmacy technicians in the NHS, increase the numbers of those seeking professional registration and ensure support for APTUK as the professional body”, Mr Ridge added.
Ms Fidler told C+D that APTUK looks “forward to supporting the aspirations in the letter”.
Honouring the profession on #RxTechDay
Northern Ireland CPO Cathy Harrison also lauded pharmacy technicians on social media.
Several pharmacy bodies and professionals sang their praises on Twitter, including Community Pharmacy Wales and Alison Strath, the interim CPO for Scotland.
In a year where community pharmacies in Wales have met unpredented demands + increases in workload the role that pharmacy technicians deliver has never been more valuable. Happy #RxTechDay to all the amazing pharmacy technicians supporting the community pharmacy network in Wales pic.twitter.com/NqCB22TDHS— CommunityPharmWales (@CPWales) October 20, 2020
Thank you for copying me in. In Scotland our #pharmacytechnicians continue to deliver and support service delivery across hospital, primary care & community pharmacy settings throughout these very challenging times- thank you for all that you do every day #RxTechDay— Alison Strath (@alisonstrath) October 20, 2020
This year for #RxTechDay we wanted to thank all pharmacy technicians for their significant contribution in ensuring consistent patient safety and a high standard of care throughout the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/UvtG3fJxzE— GPhC (@TheGPhC) October 20, 2020
In a video posted on Twitter, Ms Fidler invited pharmacy technicians to “take a moment today to celebrate all [that’s] great about being a pharmacy technician and also take time to recognise a professional colleague who stood shoulder to shoulder with you at this time”.
[email protected] (@President_APTUK) October 20, 2020