Pharmacy Forum NI has welcomed the Department of Health (DoH) proposal to establish a statutory Register of pharmacy technicians for Northern Ireland, which will offer reinforcement to the NI pharmacy sector and increase public confidence.

In its response to the DoH consultation on the proposal, the Forum expressed support for the move, which we view as essential to the advancement of the pharmacy profession in terms of delivering a more holistic role and service to the NI public. However, the proposal cannot be regarded as a panacea to NI pharmacy workforce pressures.

While the Forum agrees unanimously with the proposals presented, our response has outlined several caveats related to the following areas:  

  • Clarity around professional leadership for technicians
  • Costs to the regulator and registrants
  • Petition for seed funding
  • Pharmaceutical Society NI Council Governance
  • Sustaining current and future pharmacy technician pipeline
  • Transition to registration concerns
  • Appropriate qualification level
  • Developmental preparedness for potential new registrants

Pharmacy Forum NI acknowledges that the consultation, which closed 16 May 2022, is the first step on a journey to bring forward this new healthcare profession. We remain available and look forward to working with the DoH and other stakeholders on the next stage of development.