Health Minister Robin Swann has announced a consultation on the introduction of statutory regulation of the pharmacy technician workforce in Northern Ireland, which is set to significantly impact the NI pharmacy sector.

Pharmacy technicians in NI are not regulated healthcare professionals, unlike their counterparts in GB, who have been regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) since 2011. The consultation document sets out a proposal for the introduction of regulation of pharmacy technicians in NI that will align us with the rest of the UK and will help to ensure that the pharmacy workforce has the necessary capability and capacity to fully support the transformation of our health service in the coming years.

Pharmacy Forum NI welcomes this long-awaited consultation on the registration of another professional within the NI pharmacy team. We believe this is an important and transformative development for pharmacy in NI and new service delivery for patients.

Commenting on the development Pharmacy Forum NI Chair Eamon O’Donnell said:

“Pharmacy technicians work with pharmacists and other pharmacy staff within health and social care to support the delivery of safe, effective and efficient pharmacy services for patients. I am delighted for our pharmacy technician colleagues and what this will potentially mean for career choices within our sector, encouraging others to join the NI pharmacy workforce.”

Pharmacy Forum NI’s response to the consultation will be developed and led by the Forum’s Policy & Practice Committee (PPC) chaired by Forum Vice-Chair Dr Oisín Kavanagh in collaboration with Forum Board members. If you are a NI registered pharmacist and would like to contribute input to the Forum’s response, please get in touch. The consultation closes 16 May 2022.