A time to reflect

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A time to reflect

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APTUK president Liz Fidler looks back on 2020 and picks out some of her highlights, of which there have been many, despite the trials and tribulations of the pandemic

During my welcome speech at the 2019 APTUK annual conference, I said that 2020 was going to be the year of the pharmacy technician. I do not have mystic powers, but I could not have been more right!

This year has been challenging on so many levels but has also provided some real highlights for the profession. I thought it would be interesting to share my reflections with you. So, here go my top highlights…

Real recognition

I have never been involved in so many conversations around the roles of pharmacy technicians and what they have contributed during a global pandemic. This year’s healthcare landscape has provided a stage for pharmacy technicians to demonstrate the range of knowledge and skills they have. Recognition of what these registered professionals can contribute has been discussed and plans to build on this are underway. It’s a real opportunity to explore the legislative changes that are required to enable the profession to reach its potential, and this is how we will start 2021.

Pharmacy technicians are represented, through APTUK, at many strategic boards and I was delighted to have been invited to discuss the roles of pharmacy technicians during Covid-19 at a meeting with the pharmacy minister Jo Churchill – a personal highlight for me!

Many pharmacy leaders demonstrated their recognition and thanks during World Pharmacy Technician Day on 20 October 2020, which I know the profession welcomes. We are in discussions around how we can build on those offers.

Personal stories

I have been honoured and privileged to have read so many personal stories over the last few months. Highlights for me have been reading the nominations for Training Matters’ annual Recognition of Excellence Awards and the leadership roles played in the procurement and supply for Nightingale hospitals. The range of skills has been outstanding. We are a versatile profession who are committed and can apply our knowledge when and where it is most needed. Personally, I am committed to seize the opportunities mentioned above so that 2021 provides the needed changes to ensure the profession continues to thrive.

Please take a moment to reflect on what you have done in the last few months: the conversation with a patient in need, sourcing meds, advising on healthcare matters. Each connection you have made has made a difference. There are so many examples of going above and beyond and I think award nominations will be overwhelmed next year – I really hope they are!

Looking ahead

As we enter 2021, we will have mixed feelings, but please be assured that you are valued and recognised and 2021 will see many great things for the profession.

I wish you all a happy Christmas holidays (hoping you have some time off!) and a healthy new year. One of my favourite times working in community pharmacy was Christmas Eve, especially the time when the oodles of biscuit tins and chocolates were shared amongst the team – enjoy!  

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