Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians: working together for patients
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and the Association of Pharmacy Technicians United Kingdom (APTUK) share a number of common goals.
The RPS, the professional membership body for pharmacists, ‘leads the profession of pharmacy to improve the public’s health and wellbeing. The RPS advances the profession of pharmacy for public and patient benefit, to improve the health of the public and to secure the future of our members.’
APTUK, the professional leadership body for pharmacy technicians ‘leads pharmacy technicians to deliver professional excellence for patient centred care. Through strong, influential representative leadership, APTUK supports patient centred professionalism by encouraging in our membership, the attitudes and behaviours associated with outstanding healthcare professionals. APTUK work on behalf of pharmacy technicians, championing and safeguarding the pharmacy technician profession, enhancing the education and scope of practice, by supporting the delivery of professional excellence and patient centred care for the health and wellbeing of patients and all pharmacy service users.’
The RPS and APTUK have worked collaboratively on many occasions in the past and will continue to do so; sharing the ideal that working together is in the best interest of their members, patients, the public, pharmacy and healthcare as a whole.
‘Transforming the Pharmacy Workforce in Great Britain: The RPS Vision’  sets out the direction of travel for the pharmacy workforce over the coming years. It places patients at the centre of all that pharmacists and their teams do, promoting proactive, compassionate pharmaceutical care and encouraging professionals, services and organisations to work together.
In the final report of the research carried out by University of East Anglia, in collaboration with APTUK, to ‘Identifying the Roles of Pharmacy Technicians in the UK’ one recommendation was that ‘consideration into how the inter-professional working relationships with pharmacists can be enhanced both pre and post-registration to ensure that the contribution of both healthcare professionals is optimised.’
The emerging themes and considerations from the ‘RPS Pharmacy Workforce Summit Report: Right place, right time, right number: positioning the workforce for patients’ recommend that the pharmacy workforce, should be enabled to work across all sectors, by collaborating with pharmacy colleagues, in a range of roles. In summary, the report indicates that ‘only through integration, collaboration and emerging from traditional siloes, can effective delivery of person-centred pharmacy services (by pharmacists and pharmacy technicians practising at the top of their professional roles) be achieved.’
It is key, therefore, to develop a strong and influential partnership between the RPS and APTUK, within the principles of autonomy for both organisations that allows the development and delivery of allied projects. Joint work, through effective partnerships, will lead, advocate and speak knowledgably; innovating and celebrating best practice on behalf of the pharmacy profession.
The RPS and APTUK are delighted to announce that they will jointly develop a ‘road map’ for collaborative working in a number of key areas over the next five years. We will work together to guide and lead both pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to a consensus on roles and responsibilities within an effective and efficient pharmacy team which can only enhance the delivery of quality and safe pharmacy services to patients and the public. We will start with developing support for revalidation that we can roll out to all registered pharmacists whilst at the same time consider how pharmacy technicians meet similar requirements of them from the General Pharmaceutical Council ahead of the changes scheduled for 2018 and 2019.
The RPS and APTUK commit to working together in the best interests of their members and patients.
 Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) ‘about us’: https://www.rpharms.com/about-us/royal-pharmaceutical-society
 Association of Pharmacy Technician United Kingdom(APTUK) mission statement: http://www.aptuk.org/about-us/
 RPS Transforming the Pharmacy Workforce in Great Britain: The RPS Vision: August 2015: https://www.rpharms.com/Portals/0/RPS%20document%20library/Open%20access/Publications/Transforming%20the%20pharmacy%20workforce%20in%20GB.pdf
 UEA & APTUK, ‘Identifying the Roles of Pharmacy Technicians in the UK’, Final report, September 2016
 RPS Pharmacy Workforce Summit Report: Right place, right time, right number: positioning the workforce for patients’