The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians, UK (APTUK) have announced that they will jointly develop a ‘road map’ for collaborative working over the next five years.
In a statement Ash Soni, RPS president, and Tess Fenn, president of APTUK, said closer collaboration would enable the two professions to evolve together in order to provide the best care for patients.
It follows recommendations in the RPS Pharmacy Workforce Summit Report, Right place, right time, right number, published in March 2017, which highlighted that “only through integration, collaboration and emerging from traditional siloes, can effective delivery of person-centred pharmacy services be achieved.”
A key focus will be mutual consensus on the roles and responsibilities of pharmacists and pharmacist technicians to enable both professions to work to “the top of their licence”.
“This is not about fighting for turf,” Soni said. “This is about fighting for the needs of patients. We are both trying to do that in a collaborative way.”
He said that pharmacy had a key role to play in the delivery of care, but for a pharmacist to spend greater time in consultation, he or she needed to be able to have confidence in the wider pharmacy team.
“This is about looking at how we utilise the clinical expertise that is within the pharmacist’s training development alongside the skills and capabilities that a pharmacy technician has,” he explained.
“By showing how we work, as professionals, in a more effective team environment that creates enhanced patient care is what we are trying to achieve.
“I can’t have a pharmacist who is not able to practise to the top of their licence if they haven’t been given the release to do that by a suitably qualified pharmacy technician.”
He stressed the importance of recognising that pharmacy technicians are also regulated professionals and therefore have some autonomy, adding that differentiating them from dispensing assistants was key.
The two organisations will also be developing support for revalidation, due to come into force in 2018.
Fenn said: “It’s about standardising things. There are lots of aspects of professionalism and professional behaviour as well as the skills and knowledge that need to have the same principles and guidance behind them.”
To read the full statement click here.