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What is the role of a pharmacy technician in a patient-centred, service-focussed community pharmacy? (TWIGG_U21SF)

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    University of East Anglia
    Medical sciencesMedicine
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/05/2021 23:00 - Europe/London
    United Kingdom › Norwich


Typically, community pharmacy services tend to be undertaken by the pharmacist, with dispensing staff (technicians and dispensers) focussing on medicine supply and Healthcare Assistants on the ‘front’ of house’ roles. However, over recent years these roles have become less well defined with PTs, dispensers and HCAs undertaking some services themselves e.g. smoking cessation and NHS Health Checks.  


In addition to this, PTs (a regulated profession in its own right) are increasingly taking over more of the supply role in pharmacies. The introduction of accuracy checking technicians now, theoretically, means that pharmacists should have more time to focus on patient facing activities as they can delegate these tasks to suitably qualified professionals. In hospital pharmacy this has been the case for many years and is now routine. Hospital pharmacists perform the clinical check on the prescription and after this point the process is technician led. However, in community pharmacy there are issues that prevent this model being implemented to its full potential. These barriers include lines of accountability, staff numbers, clinical check processes and supervision by pharmacists. These barriers have largely led community pharmacy PTs to become unsatisfied in their roles and once qualified look for alternative employment in a hospital setting where job satisfaction and role development is greater.  


Example PhD research questions might include:  


1. What is the current international evidence for the role of PTs in community pharmacy? [review] 

2. What are the current experiences of PTs and other pharmacy staff working with them, of community pharmacy? Does this need to change? [qualitative work] 

3. What are the training and mentoring requirements for a more enhanced PT role in community pharmacy? [questionnaire] 



i) https://www.england.nhs.uk/commissioning/wp-content/uploads/sites/12/2016/12/community-pharm-clncl-serv-rev.pdf  

ii) Gernant, Stephanie A., My-Oanh Nguyen, Sanna Siddiqui, and Matthew Schneller. "Use of pharmacy technicians in elements of medication therapy management delivery: a systematic review." Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy 14, no. 10 (2018): 883-890 

iii) Doucette WR, Schommer JC. Pharmacy technicians’ willingness to perform emerging tasks in community practice. Pharmacy. 2018 Dec;6(4):113. 

iv) Boughen M, Sutton J, Fenn T, Wright D. Defining the role of the pharmacy technician and identifying their future role in medicines optimisation. Pharmacy. 2017 Sep;5(3):40. 


Funding Notes:

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis.  It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources.  Details of tuition fees can be found at https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/university-information/finance-and-procurement/finance-information-for-students/tuition-fees 


A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research.  Applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project. 

More Information

Offer Requirements


Acceptable first degree is 2:1 in Pharmacy or related subject including psychology or sociology. 

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of East Anglia
United Kingdom
Norwich Research Park

EURAXESS offer ID: 604062


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