Induction to Hospital Pharmacy COVID-19 for Pharmacy Technicians

NES Pharmacy has prepared this page to support pharmacy technicians who may be redeployed into hospital pharmacy from a different pharmacy sector or have recently joined the GPhC temporary register. This page aims to provide you with:

  • a summary of the key roles and responsibilities you may be expected to carry out as a pharmacy technician

  • resources available that will enable you to practise competently and professionally

You should also access the  NES Pharmacy Induction to Hospital Pharmacy COVID-19 page on Turas Learn.  This page provides additional information and links to key resources as well as information on how to ensure you maintain your own mental health and wellbeing which you may find useful.

As always, pharmacy technicians should ensure they continue to adhere to the GPhC Standards for pharmacy professionals at all times.

Most health boards and some pharmacy contractors have Locum information packs available, which will be a useful resource to you at this time. If after reading this guidance you have any questions or feel you require further information to support your preparation as a hospital pharmacy technician, please submit your questions/suggestions here.

Dispensing of patient's discharge medication

Dispensing patient’s discharge medication will be a core activity in which you will participate.  The following national occupational standards are related to the dispensing process and may be a useful resource to refer to:

Pharm 08  Confirm prescription validity

Pharm 09  Assemble prescribed items

Pharm 10 – Issue prescribed items

Accuracy checking pharmacy technicians

If you are an accuracy checking pharmacy technician, you may also be asked to utilise these skills within community pharmacy and may be required to complete a log of accuracy checks to show your competency, before taking responsibility of the final accuracy check.  APTUK released a statement in March regarding this which can be found here.

Stock control

Stock control is a core activity you may participate in within the hospital pharmacy such as ordering, receiving, supplying and maintaining stock.  The following national occupational standards are related to stock control processes and may be a useful resource to refer to:

Pharm 12 Order pharmaceutical stock

Pharm 13 Receive pharmaceutical stock

Pharm 14 Maintain pharmaceutical stock

Pharm 15 Supply pharmaceutical stock

Assessing and supplying individual patient's medicines

You may also be expected to work in a patient facing role on a hospital ward.  This will involve taking medication histories directly from patients and checking their medicines match what is currently prescribed for them.  You will ensure they have a sufficient supply of their medicines throughout their hospital stay, and on discharge, as well as dealing with any discrepancies and issues promptly.  The following national occupational standards are related to assessing and supplying individual patients’ medicines and may be a useful resource to refer to:

Pharm 29 Retrieve and reconcile information about an individual's medicines

Pharm 31 Confirm the suitability of an individual's medicines for use and ensure sufficient supply

Pharm 33 Order medicines and products for individuals

Medicines reconciliation

This module describes the purpose and importance of effective medicines reconciliation. In an ideal world this is done robustly both at admission and discharge, however you should become familiar with the processes adopted at the hospital in which you work so that you know what is expected. Please note that these processes may change over the coming weeks.

What further support do you need?

If after reading this guidance you have any questions or feel you require further information to support your preparation as a hospital pharmacy technician, please submit your questions/suggestions here.