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Spotlight on... Pharmacy

3 things we learnt at The Pharmacy Show

At Woodspeen Training we understand the importance of keeping up with industry advancements and take any chance we can to learn more about the sectors that we offer training in.

On 15th and 16th October, the NEC in Birmingham hosted The Pharmacy Show and two of our pharmacy tutors jumped at the chance to attend. We caught up with Lucy and Reanna to find out what they learnt at the show.


Woodspeen Training pharmacy tutors outside The Pharmacy Show at Birmingham NEC


1. The role of the Pharmacy Technician is changing

Due to the ever-advancing healthcare system in the UK, the role of the Pharmacy Technician is gradually changing and evolving. There is new legislation being put forward that will enable registered Pharmacy Technicians in a community setting to supply and administer certain medicines under a Patient Group Direction (PGD) without the need to obtain Patient Specific Directions (PSD). The medication being considered in this legislative change include emergency health contraception, antibiotics for urinary tract infections, and the ability to administer flu jabs. This change has increased the talk around the role that Pharmacy Technicians will take on, as the workplace changes.


Image of slide at seminar which says 'Pharmacy Technicians and the future of healthcare'


2. Advances in Pharmacy technology

There were many pieces of technology on display at The Pharmacy show. Advances in technology are starting a transformation within pharmacies, including 24-hour medicine vending machines enabling patients to collect their prescription at any time of the day. A methadone dispensing machine was also at the show that calculated the specific patient’s amount and dispensed it for them, which would be incredibly useful in making pharmacies more efficient. Another useful piece of technology we saw were devices which help patients administer their own medications, showing them how to do it. Advances in technology are important within healthcare as many pharmacies cannot be open all the time and busy patient lives mean they cannot always collect their prescriptions during pharmacy opening hours.


Outside image of advanced technology being used in pharmacies

Inside image of advanced technology being used in pharmacies


3. The difference between community and hospital Pharmacy

It is important to understand the difference in the roles and responsibilities of a Pharmacy Technician in a community or hospital setting, especially when teaching the next wave of Pharmacy Technicians as we are at Woodspeen Training. The main difference that we saw at The Pharmacy Show is that the Pharmacy Technicians in the community are mainly helping manage a patient’s condition and stop it developing to the point the patient must go to hospital. Whereas, within the hospital the Pharmacy Technician’s role is treating the condition in sometimes lifesaving situations. The hospital environment is ultimately much more clinical than a Pharmacy Technician out in the community. The roles in both workplaces are vital to the healthcare system, but it is important to understand the nuances between the two when teaching young people so they can choose where they want to be.


Alongside all the new advancements in technology that Lucy and Reanna saw, they also saw the strong emphasis on patient safety was a big focus of the show.

Lucy told us “Patient safety is integral to the Pharmacy Technician role, even the minor neglect of patient safety and role responsibility could lead to death in extreme circumstances.”

Reanna continued, “It’s the one thing that we cover with our learners again and again, reminding them just how important their role as a Pharmacy Technician is, that no matter where they practice, patient safety is their number one priority.”


If you’re looking at ways to bring in new skills to your pharmacy either through a new hire or to upskill existing staff and would like more information on the range of pharmacy apprenticeships Woodspeen Training offers, contact the team now.

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