Health Minister Robin Swann today announced he has approved work to begin to bring Pharmacy Technicians in Northern Ireland under statutory regulation by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland.
The public consultation was launched in March 2022 on a proposal to introduce statutory regulation of the Pharmacy Technician workforce in Northern Ireland.
The Minister said: "I am pleased to begin establishing pharmacy technicians as a regulated healthcare profession in Northern Ireland. This will be a key enabler to enhancing the contribution that pharmacy technicians can make to the delivery of healthcare across all settings. It will allow the regulator to strengthen its role in protecting patients and promoting high standards, thereby enhancing the public's confidence and trust in pharmacy practice.
"While there are many practical issues to be worked through with stakeholders, and legislative change required, I have now instructed my Department's officials to develop a detailed project plan to bring about the statutory regulation of pharmacy technicians by the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland".
Chief Pharmaceutical Officer Cathy Harrison said: "I welcome the publication of this consultation report, which is a further step towards meeting our ambitions for the development of the pharmacy workforce as set out in the Pharmacy Workforce Review, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who took time to provide a response.
Our population is best served by full utilisation of the skillset of all members of the pharmacy team to ensure that people get the most from their medicines every day. Progressing the registration and regulation of pharmacy technicians as healthcare professionals in their own right will support the transformation of pharmacy services by optimising skill mix and will help to maintain public safety and confidence in the pharmacy profession."
The consultation closed on 20 May 2022 and the Department has now published a consultation summary report on the feedback received.
The consultation report can be accessed on the Department of Health website.