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Pharmacy technicians in NI to be recognised as regulated healthcare professionals

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Pharmacy technicians will soon be recognized as fully regulated healthcare professionals in North Ireland.

Work has begun to bring pharmacy technicians under statutory regulation by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland, health minister Robin Swann has announced.

The public consultation was launched in March 2022 on a proposal to introduce statutory regulation of the Pharmacy Technician workforce in Northern Ireland.

The minister said: “This will be a key enabler to enhancing the contribution that pharmacy technicians can make to the delivery of healthcare across all settings. It will allow the regulator to strengthen its role in protecting patients and promoting high standards, thereby enhancing the public’s confidence and trust in pharmacy practice.”

He added: “While there are many practical issues to be worked through with stakeholders, and legislative change required, I have now instructed my Department’s officials to develop a detailed project plan to bring about the statutory regulation of pharmacy technicians by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland”.

Chief pharmaceutical officer Cathy Harrison has welcome the publication of this consultation report, adding further, “which is a further step towards meeting our ambitions for the development of the pharmacy workforce as set out in the Pharmacy Workforce Review, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who took time to provide a response.

“Our population is best served by full utilization of the skillset of all members of the pharmacy team to ensure that people get the most from their medicines every day. Progressing the registration and regulation of pharmacy technicians as healthcare professionals in their own right will support the transformation of pharmacy services by optimizing skill mix and will help to maintain public safety and confidence in the pharmacy profession.”

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