The Pharmaceutical Journal conducted a salary and satisfaction survey 2018, between 3 September and 15 October 2018 and invitations were sent to 1,999 pharmacy technicians. 236 pharmacy technicians responded and the results were published on the 23rd October 2018.
A key finding reported that 53% of the respondents had considered leaving the profession. Some of the pharmacy technicians that were spoken to said they love their jobs but they can see that the pace of change has been rapid and they want to see fairer remuneration for taking on more responsibility and a more clear framework for continuing professional development.
In response APTUK, as the professional leadership body for Pharmacy Technicians, President Tess Fenn said:
“APTUK were not involved in the development of this survey and are unable to confirm its reliability and validity. However, we believe it is critical that we give our view on the responses reported. APTUK are clear that being respected and appreciated by significant others is one of the most fundamental human needs. Both respect and recognition are important for any employee and for the organisation. Being appreciated is crucial to increasing motivation and satisfaction as well as health and well-being. The research carried out by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with APTUK, ‘Identifying the Roles of Pharmacy Technicians in the UK’, scoped the increasing number of tasks carried out by pharmacy technicians across all sectors and identified barriers and facilitators to career development. Recommendations from the report indicated that a review of pharmacy technicians’ post-registration education and training and the development of a career framework to provide a career structure were required. APTUK have continually raised that this would be an enabler and a support for the current and future delivery of pharmacy services. As pharmacists’ roles continue to evolve and practice expands to clinical settings such as GP surgeries, community pharmacy, care homes etc, the other registered pharmacy professional within the pharmacy team, the pharmacy technician, is crucial to the transformation of services. As such, pharmacy technician roles are also continuing to develop and a fully funded structured career pathway would be beneficial to the pharmacy profession and patients alike.
Recognising this need, APTUK announced, at their annual professional conference 2018, that work on an advanced practice and career framework, to complement its current foundation pharmacy framework, is beginning. APTUK are delighted to be working collaboratively with Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW- formally WCPPE) to develop this.
As workload pressures are set to continually increase due to the ageing population, polypharmacy, increased prescription volume, policy changes with expansion of roles and services, APTUK acknowledge that work-related stress is an issue of growing concern and a possible cause of individuals leaving their profession.
Alongside of this, APTUK have continuously raised that there are not enough pharmacy technicians being trained to meet the current and future workforce demand and this is a significant concern.
It is time for the profession to work together on real and tangible points to improve the working lives of pharmacy professionals.”