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Welsh pilot offers multi-sector pharmacy technician apprenticeship

Pre-reg pharmacy technicians involved in the pilot, with their line manager Linda Jones (far left)
Pre-reg pharmacy technicians involved in the pilot, with their line manager Linda Jones (far left)

Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW) is piloting a two-year apprenticeship that offers trainee pharmacy technicians experience in community, hospital and primary care.

The apprenticeship programme is currently being piloted for 11 pre-registration pharmacy technicians at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, HEIW announced last week (May 21).

Each week comprises two days' training in a hospital, two days in a community pharmacy and one study day. Students also go on a six-week primary care placement in their second year.

At the end of the two years, the pharmacy technician will qualify with a BTEC and an NVQ portfolio of evidence, HEIW explained.

Commenting on the announcement, Wendy Penny, HEIW head of pharmacy technician training, said: “Supporting pharmacy technicians to train across three pharmacy sectors will lead to a more sustainable and flexible workforce who understand the patient journey across healthcare settings.”

Last month, the Welsh government announced a £4.9 million investment to almost double the number of pre-registration pharmacist places across community, hospital and general practice. The initiative was launched as part of a UK-wide ‘Train, Work, Live’ campaign, which aims to attract more pre-regs to Wales.

Do you think all pre-reg trainees should have multi-sector training?

Ronald Trump, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Great to see such a forward thinking healthboard! I think investment in training of techs is just as important as training of pharms, if future strategy is to be achieved and pharmacy's role is to expand and evolve. Good luck to you all. England how about taking a leaf out of Wales/Scotland's book?!

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