What is your role now?
I’m the Lead Pharmacy Technician at the Centre for Pharmacy Postgraduate Education (CPPE). This is a national role responsible for education, training and workforce developments within the pharmacy technician profession in the NHS in England.
What roles did you do to get to where you are now?
- Pre-registration Trainee Pharmacy Technician (PTPT) – Matthew Boulton College, Birmingham / Warwick Hospital
- Rotational Pharmacy Technician – Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital
- Senior Pharmacy Technician, Medicines Management Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
- Principal Pharmacy Technician, Clinical & Business Services – King’s College Hospital
- Chief Pharmacy Technician, Clinical Services – King’s College Hospital
- Operational Lead, Medicines Finance – King’s College Hospital
- Pharmacy Lecturer – Westminster Kingsway College
What do you enjoy about your job?
Getting asked to do interviews such as this!
As you’ll see from the above roles, my background is in hospital pharmacy so it’s great to have a national role that enables me to interact with pharmacy colleagues across the country. I have learned so much more about the different settings that pharmacy professionals work in and the roles that they undertake.
I enjoy being able to support people to develop their knowledge and skills, through development and delivery of high quality learning programmes. In order to provide safe and effective care for people who access pharmacy services, it’s important that education is aligned with clinical practice. As someone who loves pharmacy, I’m passionate about this aspect of my job because making a difference to patients is what we’re here for!
How much do you earn?
Equal pay is such an important topic for discussion and something we should explore more within pharmacy.
Thankfully, my salary is commensurate with colleagues in similar roles but I’d like that to be the case for my community pharmacy technician colleagues too.
What do you not enjoy about your job?
I love my job and the profession that I’ve chosen as a career, however being a pharmacy technician brings its own challenges. It’s often an invisible barrier because people make assumptions (usually based on the fact that our initial education and training is not at graduate level) leading to us being overlooked; we have to fight that bit harder for opportunities and recognition.
We need to hear pharmacy technicians’ voices at all levels, including at the top, because we have a wealth of experience that is different from pharmacists. Diversity of perspective stimulates conversation and can yield positive outcomes through solutions that others may not have envisioned.
Are you a member of any pharmacy organisations?
Yes, I’m a career long member, and Fellow, of the Association of Pharmacy technicians UK (APTUK).
I’m part of the @WePharmacist community and also a member of the College of Mental Health Pharmacy (CMHP) and the Primary Care Pharmacy Association (PCPA).
Who, if anyone, has influenced your career?
There are so many people who have influenced my career and supported me to get to where I am today that it wouldn’t be fair to name just a handful. I am fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to thank most of my role models in person for their inspiration and guidance.
Key advice that I found helpful in my career and I think is useful to pass on to others considering their next step, “New jobs are supposed to challenge you. If you can already do everything that’s on the job description then it’s not going to develop you or your career. Go for it!”
What would you like to do next?
I’d like to drive up standards for the benefit of patients by continuing to support pharmacy professionals, with a particular focus on championing the capabilities of pharmacy technicians. There’s so much amazing work happening that goes under the radar; it should be showcased to empower pharmacy technicians to act on their ambition. I’d like to engage in research to form an evidence base that demonstrates the value of our contributions.
I’d also like to advocate for pharmacy technicians who experience difficulties. I want to enable them to access information and services where they can get advice to understand their rights and responsibilities before making key decisions.