Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Consultation launched on proposed pharmacy changes

The planned change to give pharmacy technicians more power forms part of the Government’s Primary Care Recovery Plan (PA)
The planned change to give pharmacy technicians more power forms part of the Government’s Primary Care Recovery Plan (PA)

A consultation has been launched on plans to give pharmacy technicians more power in a move that is aimed at ultimately freeing up capacity in general practice.

Currently, preparing, dispensing or selling prescription drugs can only be carried out by a pharmacist or under a pharmacist’s supervision.

The proposed rule change, which forms part of the Government’s Primary Care Recovery Plan, would mean pharmacists could authorise registered technicians to carry out tasks such as preparing medicines within manufacturing units and handing out prescription drugs in retail pharmacies.

Health minister Andrea Leadsom said giving technicians more power would free-up pharmacists’ time for other duties, such as providing advice on contraception or common conditions, as well as carrying out blood pressure checks, “rather than patients having to book an appointment at a general practice”.

She added: “This is about making the most of the talents of our excellent and highly trained pharmacy staff, to benefit them and their patients, and improve service delivery more generally.

“By giving pharmacy technicians the chance to use their skills in a safe way and take on more responsibility for dispensing, pharmacists will have more time to carry out the clinical assessments they are trained to do.”

According to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) there are more than 67,000 pharmacists registered in the UK.

It added the plans “represent a significant shift in how medicines dispensing is supervised and help make pharmacy services more efficient and fit for the future”.

A joint statement from the four chief pharmaceutical officers of the UK said the plans “will improve future patient care” by “making appropriate, safe and productive use of pharmacy technicians’ knowledge and skills”.

It added: “Recognising and more effectively using the skills of pharmacy technicians will enable pharmacists to spend a greater proportion of their time delivering patient-facing clinical services – using their training and expertise, including prescribing, to improve healthcare outcomes for patients and local communities.

“This will improve career progression for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians and ensure they are using their training and skills to contribute to the best of their professional ability as part of the NHS team.”

The consultation process is expected to last 12 weeks.

The Primary Care Recovery Plan will also aim to end the “8am scramble” for a GP appointment by upgrading the phone systems in surgeries.

The switch has been backed by a £240 million investment and is expected to go live in March 2024.

Elsewhere, there will be a consultation on giving dental hygienists the power to administer certain medicines without the need for a prescription to improve access to dentistry in England.